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SOUTH 

AUSTRALIAN 

MUSEUM 



CONTENTS PAGES 



BARKER, S. 45-49 

Designation of a lectotype and description of four new species of 
Australian Buprestidae (Coleoptera). 

CLARKE, P. A. 51-67 

Waiyungari and his relationship to the Aboriginal mythology of the Lower 
Murray, South Australia. 

HENN, C. & CRAIG, B 69-89 

The Pacific Cultures Gallery in the South Australian Museum. 

HUTCHINSON, M. N. & DONNELLAN, S. C. 173-189 

Genetic variation and taxonomy of the lizards assigned to Cienotus uber 
oriemalis Storr (Squamata: Scincidae) with description of a new species. 

KEMPER, C. M. & SAMSON, C. R. 155-172 

Southern right whale remains from 19th century whaling at Fowler Bay, South Australia. 

LAWTON, R. S. 91-118 

The chiefs of Kiriwina 

OPRESKO, D. M. 143-154 

New Species of Anlipalhes and Paranlipalh.es (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Antipatharia) 
from Coastal Waters of South Australia and Tasmania. 

WATTS, C. H. S. 1-43 

Revision of Australian Hydrochus (Coleoptera: Hydrochidae). 

WATTS, C. H. S. 119 

Rediscovery of Enochrus peregrinus in Australia (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae) 

WATTS, C. H. S. & HUMPHREYS, W. F. 121-142 

Three new genera and five new species of Dytiscidae (Coleoptera) from underground 
waters in Australia. 



Volume 32(1) was published on 25 August 1999. 
Volume 32(2) was published on 20 December 1999. 

ISSN 0376-2750 



ERRATA for USHER paper: Vol 31(2) 



p.221, column 2 and p. 224, column 2: alter D6 to D17; 
p. 249, photo numbers: alter D6 to D17 and D17 to D6. 



REVISION OF AUSTRALIAN HYDROCHUS (COLEOPTERA : 

HYDROCHIDAE) 

C. H. S. Watts 



Summary 

The Australian members of the hydrochid genus Hydrochus are revised and redescribed. Ten 
species are described as new: H. abditus, H. aenigmatis, H. atratus, H. burdekinensis, H. decorus, H. 
eurypleuron, H. cucullatus, H. macroaquilonius, H. numerosepunctatus and H. umbratilis. The 
following synonymies are proposed: H. adelaidae Blackburn = H. victoriae Blackburn ; H. australis 
Motschulksy = H. brunneonitens Lea = H. diversiceps Blackburn = H. parallelus MacLeay = H. 
polaki Makhan = H. rambarani Makhan = H. regularis Blackburn = H. serricollis Lea; H. 
aschnakiranae Makhan = H. schillihammeri Makhan; H. horni Blackburn = H. scabricollis Lea; H. 
imamkhani Makhan = H. schoenmanni Makhan; H. multicolor Lea = H. matthewsi Makhan; H. 
obscuroaeneus Fairmaire = H. insularis Lea = H. palmerstoni Blackburn = H. rodjani Makhan = H. 
wewalkai Makhan; and H. simplicicollis Lea = H. verae Makhan. A key to the 25 Australian species 
recognised in the genus is given. 



REVISION OF AUSTRALIAN HYDROCHVS (COLEOPTERA: HYDROCHIDAE) 



C. H. S. WATTS 

WATTS, C. H. S. 1999. Revision of Australian Hydrochus (Coleoptera: Hydrochidae). 
Records of the South Australian Museum 32(1): 1 — 43. 

The Australian members of the hydrochid genus Hydrochus are revised and redescribed. Ten 
species are described as new: H. abditus, H. aenigmatis, H. atratus, H. burdekinensis, H. 
decorus, H. eurypleuron, H. cucullatus, H. macroaquilonius, H. numerosepunctatus and H. 
umbratilis. The following synonymies are proposed: H. adelaidae Blackburn = H. victoriae 
Blackburn; H. australis Motschulsky = H. brunneonitens Lea = H. diversiceps Blackburn = H. 
parallelus MacLeay = H. polaki Makhan = H. rambarani Makhan = H. regularis Blackburn = 
H. serricollis Lea; H. aschnakiranae Makhan = H. schillhammeri Makhan; H. horni Blackburn 
= H. scabricollis Lea; H. imamkhani Makhan = H. schoenmanni Makhan; H. multicolor Lea = 
H. matthewsi Makhan; H. obscuroaeneus Fairmaire = H. insularis Lea = H. palmerstoni 
Blackburn = H. rodjani Makhan = H. wewalkai Makhan; and H simplicicollis Lea = H. verae 
Makhan. A key to the 25 Australian species recognised in the genus is given. 

C. H. S. Watts, South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5000. 
Manuscript received 24 August 1998. 



This is the first attempt to revise the 
Australian Hydrochus Leach since Lea (1927) 
tabulated the then known species and 
described several new ones. The genus is the 
only representative of the world-wide family 
Hydrochidae in Australia. It is taxonomically 
difficult. The species are numerous and 
characters few and variable. They fly readily 
to light which has resulted in large numbers 
of specimens being available to me, in 
contrast to earlier workers who had very 
sparse and inadequate material, often 
describing a species from a single individual. 
Despite this advantage, or perhaps because of 
it, I view this revision as very much a first 
attempt at making some taxonomic sense of 
the Hydrochus fauna of Australia, although I 
do not claim that there is much phylogenetic 
content to the work. 

Individuals are often abundant in both still and 
running water in all areas of Australia where some 
surface water exists permanently, with the 
apparent exception of the channel country of 
south-west Queensland. 

The collections from which specimens were 
examined are listed under the following 
abbreviations. 

AM Australian Museum, Sydney 

ANIC Australian National Insect Collection, 

Canberra 
BPBM Bishop Museum, Honolulu 



BM(NH) Natural History Museum, London 
CAL California Academy of Sciences, San 

Francisco 
FIELD Field Museum of Natural History, 

Chicago 
CLH Collection of Lars Heindrick, Berlin 

DPIM Queensland Department of Primary 

Industries, Mareeba 
IRSNB Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles 

de Belgique, Bruxelles 
MCZ Museum of Comparative Zoology, 

Harvard University, Cambridge 
NHMW Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna 
NMV Museum of Victoria, Melbourne 
NTM Northern Territory Museum, Darwin 

QM Queensland Museum, Brisbane 

SAMA South Australian Museum, Adelaide 
UQIC University of Queensland Insect 

Collection, Brisbane 
WAM Western Australian Museum, Perth 
ZMM Zoological Museum, Moscow 

The early taxonomy of Australian Hydrochus 
(Blackburn 1898, Lea 1926) is based primarily 
on the strength of grooves on the head, foveae 
on the pronotum, and the relative strength of 
punctures on the elytra. Having examined over 
6 000 specimens it is clear that these characters 
are very variable within species and of limited 
taxonomic worth. 



C. H. S. WATTS 



Early authors were also hampered by the very 
limited amount of material available, often 
working with only one or two specimens at a time. 
Makhan (1994, 1995) added characters of the 
aedeagi but otherwise relied on this same range of 
characters and a very limited number of 
specimens. 

Oliva (1995) working on South American 
species also concentrated on dorsal surface 
characters in conjunction with the male genitalia 
but in addition used leg colour and spines on the 
tibiae in a few cases. In Europe the strength of the 
apical punctures on the elytra have proved useful 
(Angus 1977). 

Characters Used In This Revision 

Size 

Australian Hydrochus vary in length from under 
one millimetre to over four millimetres. Variation 
in length within species is considerable: up to two 
to three times in all those species where a good 
number and geographic spread of specimens are 
available. 



Dorsal Surface 

Head 

I found no character of the head to be useful, 
other than the strength of the setae (see later) and 
of the Y- shaped epicranial suture to a very minor 
degree. Blackburn (1898), and Lea (1926) used 
the relative strength of three longitudinal grooves 
on the back of the head as a key character. I found 
the interspecific variation in this character, not to 
mention its subjective nature, too great for it to be 
used taxonomically. 

Pronotum 

Shape: Most Australian species have a similarly 
shaped pronotum and hence this character has 
been used sparingly. 

Lateral edges: The degree of serration of the 
pronotal edges can range from none to 
considerable. This character is a direct reflection 
of the degree of granulation of the pronotum and 
has not been specifically used. 

Epipleuron: In many Hydrochus species the 
lateral edge of the pronotum is bent under by 
almost ninety degrees. The width of this portion 
and its distinctness from the top of the pronotum 
varies considerably between species and species 
groups, yet variation within species appears to be 
only moderate. 



Anterior edge: In one species (H. cucullatus) 
the front edge of the pronotum for nearly three 
quarters of its length is noticeably thickened and 
hence raised. In all other species this thickening 
does not occur. 

Punctures and granulation: Many Australian 
species have well developed peg-like granules on 
the pronotum (and head and elytra). These are 
positioned in the areas between the punctures and 
are usually about half the diameter of a puncture. 
The punctures themselves are relatively large and 
usually close together. In many species the 
granulations, particularly on the head, appear as if 
they are worn down like teeth, and are very low 
with a smooth flat surface. When the granules are 
well developed they can completely mask the 
underlying punctures. The relative mix and 
strengths of punctures and granules can vary 
enormously within species. There are species 
which appear not to have granules and an 
occasional species (e.g. H. umbratilis) that seem 
always to be strongly granulate. In the bulk of 
species however the relative mix of punctures and 
granules is too variable to use as a taxonomic 
character. 

Foveae: A number of relatively large, shallow, 
depressed areas are found in many species. The 
boundaries of these foveae may be outlined by 
raised areas which are sometimes further 
accentuated by being devoid of punctures or 
granules. Variation within species is considerable 
and is usually too great to allow the foveae to be 
used to separate species but they have a limited 
use in delineating species groups. 

Elytra 

Striae and interstriae: All Hydrochus have 
clearly defined linear striae which are punctate, 
separated by interstriae which are impunctate. As 
far as I can tell the number of striae and number 
of punctures in each stria do not vary between 
species. The strial punctures vary considerably 
within species as to size, which limits the use of 
this character taxonomically. In all species the 
diameter of the punctures is less at each end of a 
stria and in most cases is relatively uniform over 
the rest of the stria (and also between adjacent 
striae). In a few cases the punctures continue to 
increase in diameter towards the disc and 
occasionally vary between adjacent striae. 

The interstrial areas can be smooth or granulate, 
with granules placed at the four corners of a 
puncture, which may have a somewhat squared 
rather than rounded shape. As on the pronotum, 
the strength and number of these granules can 



AUSTRALIAN HYDROCHUS 



vary from a few vestigial ones laterally to masking 
the punctures over the whole elytron. Again the 
large intraspecific variation limits the taxonomic 
usefulness of this character. Some interatrial areas 
are often raised, either partially or completely, and 
despite the usual large degree of variation, have 
proved of some taxonomic value. 

Striae are numbered starting from the innermost 
stria. The first interstria is between striae one and 
two. 

Plicae: In many Hydrochus there is a short 
raised portion of interstria eight just behind the 
middle. The degree to which the rest of interstria 
eight is raised and hence incorporates this 
structure is variable and is of some use in 
delineating species groups. 

Apical punctures: A series of three to four 
punctures near the tip of each elytron are often 
differentially enlarged, and sometimes bounded 
behind by a raised area on the elytron. At the 
extreme tip there may be another one or two 
unusually large punctures. These punctures vary 
considerably between species and, unfortunately, 
also within most species. 

Setae: Small, stout, pale setae are found on the 
elytra of a number of species. In most species, if 
present, they are restricted to the extreme apex of 
each elytron but in a few species they are also 
found on the interstriae over relatively large areas 
of the elytra. Similar setae are present in some 
species on the head and in one or two species on 
the pronotum as well. 

Colour: The dorsal colour, particularly the 
presence/absence and pattern of elytral spots has 
proved a useful character. There is also a 
pronounced polymorphism in many species within 
my species group 2 where all or most of the dorsal 
surface can be either golden, silver, steely grey, 
testaceous or black within one species and often 
within one population. 



Ventral Surface 

Palpi and antennae 

I have not made a detailed study of the 
antennae but I could find no obviously useful 
characters. 

The form and colour of both the maxillary and 
labial palpi vary subtly between species. However 
I have been unable to usefully harness this 
variation, nor have I described it. 



Legs 



I have found the shape of the femora, the 



amount of pubescence at the base of the femora 
and the colour of the legs to be most useful 
characters to separate both species and species 
groups. 

The profemora of most species are relatively 
similar in shape but vary in degree of basal 
pubescence. With the leg pointing forward, the 
pubescence is greatest on the upper surface next 
to the body. This surface is usually invisible with 
the leg in place and I have not used this character. 
On the lower surface the pubescence narrows to a 
thin band along the base of the femur adjacent to 
the trochanter. The area of the femur covered in 
this pubescence varies from none to quite a bit. In 
describing this I have compared the minimal 
length of the area covered (usually in the middle 
of the femur) with the width of the femur at that 
point. Within species variation is relatively 
moderate. 

The mesofemora of different species vary 
considerably in both shape and amount of basal 
pubescence. Three main shapes are present: a 
relatively short, stout, parallel - sided form (Fig. 
3); a little more elongate somewhat sinuate form 
with some narrowing towards the base (Fig. 4); 
and an elongate strongly spindle-shaped form 
greatly narrowed towards the base (Fig. 5). The 
amount of pubescence at the base also varies. 
With the leg pointed backwards the pubescence 
on the lower surface varies considerably between 
species but is relatively consistent within 
species. Usually the edge of the area of 
pubescence forms a C shape with the narrowest 
portion in the middle of the lower surface and 
the longest along the rear edge with a shorter 
portion along the front edge. The pubescence 
continues around the top surface of the leg but, 
as for the profemur, I have not described this 
surface since the variation is correlated with the 
variation on the more easily seen lower portion. 
In describing this character I have usually 
compared the distance the pubescence reaches 
along the rear edge of the femur with the width 
of the femur at that point. 

The degree of pubescence and the shape of the 
femur are closely correlated. Thus strongly 
spindle-shaped mesofemora have little basal 
pubescence, stout mesofemora have a moderate 
amount, and the relatively robust sinuate 
mesofemora have a lot of pubescence. 

There is some variation in the shape of the 
metafemora which tends to mirror that of the 
mesofemora. The upper side, with leg pointing 
backwards, has pubescence to a third to half of its 
length. The lower side lacks pubescence except 



CHS. WATTS 



for a small amount coming round from the upper 
side to a slight degree in some species. 

The colour of the legs has also proved useful. 
Most species have legs which are testaceous with 
the knees, apex of the tibiae, parts of the tarsi and 
often much of the femora darker. Other species 
have yellowish legs with only the tarsi with darker 
portions. Within most species the degree of dark 
and light areas is surprisingly consistent. 

Elytra 

In most beetles the lower edge of the elytron 
has a narrow shelf-like portion, the epipleuron, 
which is clearly differentiated from the top of the 
elytron and turns sharply under the beetle. In most 
Australian Hydrochus the epipleuron is broadened 
by a modification of the most lateral stria of the 
elytron which is also turned under to the same 
degree as the epipleuron (Figs 6-8). As a 
consequence the most lateral interstria (number 
10) effectively becomes the edge of the elytron. 
Within Australian species the proportion of the 
underturned shelf formed by the true elytral 
epipleuron and what is termed the 
pseudoepipleuron formed from the elytron proper 
varies considerably between species but within 
species the relative widths of each do not vary 
greatly. When describing this character I have 
used isolated elytra since in the normal closed 
position the epipleuron is partially hidden in front. 
Towards the front of the epipleuron all species 
have a shallow groove along the inner edge which 
is part of the locking mechanism of the elytra. 
This varies little between species. 

In about the middle of the elytron under 
interstria eight is a short robust shelf which locks 
with a raised structure on the thorax when the 
elytron is closed. This varies a bit in length and 
inclination but I have not been able to use this 
variation taxonomically. 

Mesosternum 

Like the rest of the ventral surface the 
mesosternum is strongly sculptured. At the front 
in the centre most species have two well - 
separated longitudinal carinae (Fig. 1). The area 
between them can be shallow or relatively deep 
and can have a weak '+' or 'T' -shaped structure 
within it. There is certainly a tendency for 
different species to have particular patterns of 
infill of this central region but not consistently 
enough to be taxonomically useful. 

Three species have a distinctly different 
sculpture in this area. In these there are three 
even, well marked, longitudinal carinae (Fig. 2). 



Metasternum 

The pattern of punctures on the metasternal 
plates is very uniform across the Australian 
members of the genus. The basic pattern consists 
of 12 to 15 large, well separated punctures 
arranged in lose rows and arcs. There is a 
tendency, more marked in some species than in 
others, for some or most of the punctures to split 
into two without destroying the underlying 
standard pattern. In one species, H. 
numerosepunctatus, the metasternum (and 
mesosternum) is evenly covered with small to 
moderate punctures with no discernible trace of 
the basic pattern. 

Abdominal stemites 

These are strongly sculptured with raised front 
margins, a central longitudinal raised carina, and 
four large punctures and a further carina on each 
side. Although there is variation in the strength of 
this sculpture I have been unable to use it 
taxonomically. 

Aedeagus 

The variation in form of the aedeagus within 
Australian Hydrochus is not as extensive as that 
shown by Hydrochus in other areas (Makhan 
1994, Oliva 1995) and differences between 
species are often slight. Nevertheless I have 
used it extensively in this revision. In many 
cases it proved the only reliable character to 
separate close species. The basal piece is 
usually parallel sided when viewed vertically 
but in a number of species it narrows toward 
the base and in others has a distinct twist. 
Viewed laterally the basal piece in most species 
is strongly curved upwards towards the base. 
The apical piece, consisting of lateral parameres 
and a central (or medial) lobe, is in all but a 
couple of species shorter than the basal piece. 
The central lobe varies considerably between 
species in width and in length compared to the 
parameres. 

The aedeagi of all but one species, which is 
identical to another, are illustrated by drawings 
made with the help of a camera lucida. Where my 
concept of the species includes a range of 
aedeagus shapes the extremes are illustrated. 
Virtually all drawings were made with the apical 
piece closed up as in nature. In this configuration 
the central gap between the parameres is neatly 
filled by the central lobe. Ventral views are given 
in all cases, which I considered give a slightly 
better view of any development of the central 
lobe. 



AUSTRALIAN HYDROCHUS 



Types 

The primary types, and most of the secondary 
types, were examined unless specifically stated 
otherwise. Blackburn and, to a lesser degree, Lea 
seldom clearly designated a holotype in their 
publications. They did however in most cases 
clearly mark a specimen with a T' or 'Ty'or with 
a TYPE label. In those cases were it is clear from 
the original description that there was more than 
one specimen before the author I have designated 
the specimen marked as a type by the author as 
the lectotype. In those cases where only one 
specimen appears to be involved and it is clearly 
labelled I have, of course, treated it as a holotype. 



dull bronze/golden, elytra often with dark 
spots, a subscutellar one prominent; 
elytral apex constricted, squared off. 

Northern H. imamkhani Makhan 

Pronotum and elytra granulate, without 
dark spots, elytral apex rounded 2 

Elytral epipleuron as wide as 
pseudoepipleuron anteriorly, never with 
the elytral granules masking punctures ... 

H. adelaidae Blackburn 

Elytral epipleuron narrower than 
pseudoepipleuron, often hardly visible 
when elytra closed, never with weakly 

granulate, strongly punctate elytra 

H. umbratilis sp. nov. 



Key To Species Groups Of Australian Hydrochus 

1. — Front of mesosternum in centre with 

three longitudinal carinae (Fig. 2.) 

Group 1 

— Front of mesosternum in centre with two 
longitudinal carinae (Fig. 1) 2 

2. — Elytra with dark spots (may be masked in 

dark specimens ) (Figs 9-11). 
Mesofemur strongly to moderately 
spindle-shaped, at base < two thirds its 
greatest width (Fig. 5) Group 2 

— Elytra without spots. Mesofemur 
cylindrical or weakly spindle-shaped, at 
base equal to or greater than two thirds 
its greatest width (Figs 3, 4) 3 

3. — Mesofemur cylindrical or weakly 

spindle-shaped (Fig. 3). Basal 
pubescence on mesofemur seldom 
reaches much beyond apex of trochanter 
(Fig. 3); pubescence on ventral surface 
of profemur interrupted or reduced to a 
very narrow band (Fig. 3) Group 3 

— Mesofemur weakly spindle-shaped (Fig. 
4). Basal pubescence on mesofemur 
usually reaches > one third of the width 
of femur at that spot along its posterior 
edge; basal pubescence on profernur 
complete, reaching > quarter width of 

femur along ventral surface (Fig. 4) 

Group 4 



Key To Species In Group 1 

Pronotum and elytra without granules, 
except weakly at apex and sides, often 



Key To Species In Group 2 

Elytral epipleuron wide, 
pseudoepipleuron lacking, or virtually 
lacking, at least in front half (Fig. 8) .... 2 
Elytral pseudoepipleuron well marked, a 
quarter width of epipleuron or more 
(Figs 6, 7) 3 

Dorsally dark brown to black, without 
elytral dark spots except very vague ones 
in some specimens. Base of parameres 
not narrower than top of basal piece of 

aedeagus (Fig. 17) 

H. eurypleuron sp. nov. 

Dorsally usually iridescent green/gold, 
elytral spots usually present, often well 
marked. Base of parameres may be 
narrower than top of basal piece of 
aedeagus H. decorus sp. nov. 

Yellow legs, apart from darker areas on 
tarsi. May have black head and much 
lighter pronotum. Never have: strongly 
granulate elytra, moderate to strong 
apical punctures, strongly serrated 

elytron edge, length >3.4mm 7 

Legs with darker areas, particularly 
knees and parts of femora and tarsi. May 
have strongly granulate elytra, strongly 
serrated elytron edge, moderate to 
strongly developed apical punctures, 
length >3.4mm. Never have: head 
(black) and pronotum a different colour 
unless teneral 4 

East coast south of Mackay. Aedeagus 
with short broad central lobe (Fig. 18). 
Base of mesofemur narrowing to about 



C. H. S. WATTS 



5. 



7. 



two thirds of its greatest width. Basal 
pubescence reaching well beyond end of 

trochanter. Length 2.5 -3.1mm q 

H. aenigmatis sp. nov. 

Northern. Aedeagus with longer central 
lobe (Figs 9-22). Base of mesofemur 
narrowing to about half of its greatest 
width. Basal pubescence not reaching 
beyond end of trochanter in middle of 
femur, except in H. macroaquilonius 
which is > 3.1mm in length 5 

Length < 2.5mm. Pronotal surface 
rugose to smooth but rather even with 
relatively shallow punctures and flat 
granules, apical piece of aedeagus jq. 
triangular, central lobe narrow (Fig. 19), 
often with silver and black patches on 
pronotum .... H. atratus sp. nov. (in part) 
Length >2.0mm. Pronotal surface 
uneven, apical piece of aedeagus bullet 
shaped, central lobe wider (Figs 20-22), 
never with silver and dark patches on 
pronotum 6 

Length >3.1mm. Without or with very 
weak granules. Basal pubescence on 
mesofemur reaching beyond apex of 
trochanter in middle of femur. Legs with 

weak development of dark areas 

H. macroaquilonius sp. nov. 

Length < 3.5mm. Usually granulate, 
often quite strongly. Basal pubescence 
on meso femur seldom reaching beyond 
apex of trochanter in middle of femur. 
Legs usually with well developed dark 
regions H. interioris Blackburn 



Front margin of pronotum in central half 
raised and thickened to about twice 
normal width. Elytral interstriae two and 
four often unevenly raised. Central lobe 
of aedeagus short. H. cucullatus sp. nov. 
Not as above 8 

Mesofemur proportionately narrower at 
base than metafemur. Anterior spot on 
elytron usually larger than others. Apical 
piece of aedeagus relatively small, may 
be narrower at base than top of basal 

piece (Figs 19, 24-27) 9 

Mesofemur and metafemur same general 1- 
shape, although metafemur bit larger. 
Anterior sutural spot on elytron same 
size as others. Apical piece of aedeagus 
relatively longer, base of apical piece 



11. — 



approximately same width as basal piece 
(Figs 28, 29) 11 

Length 0.9-2. 4mm. Elytral epipleuron 
approximately half width of 
pseudoepipleuron in front half. Dorsal 
surface uniformly dark or with silver and 
dark patches on both elytra and 

pronotum H. atratus sp.nov ( in part) 

Length 1.6-3. 3mm. Elytral epipleuron > 
half width of pseudoepipleuron in front 
half. Dorsal surface light to dark 
testaceous or green/gold (other than head 
which may be black), with darker spots 
on elytra 10 

Length 2. 0-3. 3mm. Ventral surface 
testaceous to black. Elytron, when 
spotted, with anterior sutural spot about 
same size as others (Fig. 1 1 ). Width of 
base of mesofemur equal to or greater 
than half its greatest width. Base of 
apical piece of aedeagus not narrower 

than top of basal piece (Fig. 24) 

H. burdekinensis sp. nov. 

Length 1.6-2. 5mm. Ventral surface 
black; head and pronotum often 
greenish, elytra often testaceous/golden/ 
greenish with anterior sutural spot on 
each elytron usually much larger than 
others (Figs 9,10). Mesofemur strongly 
spindle-shaped with its basal width equal 
to or less than its greatest width. Base of 
apical piece of aedeagus narrower than 
top of basal piece, tendency for the 
central lobe to bulge out above 

parameres (Figs 25-27) 

H. lateviridis Blackburn 

Apical piece of aedeagus relatively 
longer ( basal piece 1.0-1.4 times length 

of apical piece ) (Fig. 28). Northern 

H. simplicicollis Lea 

Apical piece of aedeagus relatively 
shorter ( basal piece 1.5-2.0 times length 

of apical piece) (Fig. 29). Southern 

H. obsoletus Lea 



Key To Species In Group 3 

Punctures in inner elytral striae continue 
to enlarge towards middle of elytra after 
about puncture four from the base. 

Northern species 2 

Punctures in inner elytral striae do not 



AUSTRALIAN HYDROCHUS 



increase much in size after about 
puncture four from base. If northern, < 
2.6mm long 3 

2. — Length > 3.2 mm. Mesosternum evenly 

covered with deep, relatively small 

punctures. 

H. numerosepunctatus sp. nov 

— Length < 2.8mm. Mesosternum usually 
normally sculptured (relatively few rather 

large punctures unevenly distributed) 

H. obscuroaeneus Fairmaire 

3. — Pronotum rugose to smoothly sculptured, 

seldom granulate on disc (mainly central 
Australian specimens). Area of 
pubescence at base of mesofemur 
approximately the same area as that of 
trochanter. Knees dark. Usually have: 
pinched elytral apex, weak apical 
punctures, pronotum with bare areas .... 4 

— Pronotum granulate, lacking smooth 
areas. Area of pubescence at base of 
mesosternum < area of trochanter. Knees 
no darker than rest of legs. Apex of elytra 
rounded with strong apical punctures. 
N.S.W H. granicollis Lea 

4. — Length 1.8-2.3mm. Pronotal epipleura 

weak to absent. Central lobe of aedeagus 
with broad tip (Fig. 34. Northern (Cape 

York and Arnhem Land)) 

H. gitaraiae Makhan 

— Length 2. 0-3. 4mm. Pronotal epipleura 
moderate, but often ill-defined. Central 
lobe of aedeagus with narrow tip (Figs 
35, 36). Southern, rarely in North 
Queensland H. horni Blackburn 



Key To Species In Group 4 

1. — Elytral interstria two raised for short 

distance near base, interstria four raised 
in central portion of elytron ending 
abruptly behind middle (occasional 
specimens have only weakly raised 
interstriae). Aedeagus with basal piece 
1.7-1.9 times length of apical piece, 
which is narrowly triangular and sharply 

pointed (Fig. 40) H. multicolor Lea 

— Elytral interstriae if raised then evenly 
and relatively weakly. Aedeagus with 
proportionately much longer apical piece 
(Figs 38, 39, 41-44) 2 

2. — Aedeagus with apical piece elongate, 



bases of parameres usually bulbous, 
parameres rapidly narrowing in middle, 
apical half thin, sometimes twisted; 
central lobe thin; basal piece not twisted. 
Elytral epipleuron equal to or greater 
than width of pseudoepipleuron in front 
half. Basal pubescence on ventral surface 
of mesofemur reaches a distance equal to 
or greater than half width of femur along 
hind edge. Pronotal epipleuron weak or 
absent. Often quite light to moderately 

testaceous dorsally 

H. australis Motschulsky 

Aedeagus not with above combination of 
characters. Elytral epipleuron equal to or 
less than pseudoepipleuron in width in 
front half. Basal pubescence on 
mesofemur reaches a distance equal to or 
less than half width of femur along hind 
edge. Pronotal epipleuron usually 
moderately developed. Black dorsally .. 3 

Aedeagus with base twisted, central lobe 
narrow with tip twisted to left (viewed 
ventrally), parameres weakly asymmetric 
to accommodate off-centre central lobe 
tip, parameres narrow towards tips (Fig. 

38) H. aschnakinarae Makhan 

Aedeagus with base with at most only a 
hint of a twist, central lobe moderately 
wide, parameres symmetric (Figs 39, 43, 
44) 4 

Aedeagus with parameres narrowing 
rapidly in middle, narrow and even in 
width in apical half, central lobe wide 

(Fig. 43) H. abditus sp. nov. 

Aedeagus with parameres relatively 
wide, tips paddle-shaped, may be waisted 
(Figs 39, 44) 5 

Aedeagus with apical piece squat, 
parameres bulbous at base, apical piece 
approximately twice as long as wide, 
basal piece narrowing towards base (Fig. 

39) H. kunarajahi Makhan 

Aedeagus with apical piece more 
elongate, apical piece > twice as long as 
wide (Fig. 44) H. radjiei Makhan 



Descriptions 

In the following sections the descriptions of 
species are arranged alphabetically within each of 
the four species groups. 



C. H. S. WATTS 



Species Group 1 

A group of three relatively large species 
characterised by having three rather than two 
longitudinal carinae at the front of the 
mesosternum and stout broad aedeagi. The two 
southern species, H. adelaidae and H. umbratilis, 
are very similar and seem distinct from the 
northern H. imamkhani which is the only 
Australian species with spotted elytra other than 
group 2 species. 

The two southern species are found at the sides 
of poorly vegetated, often deeply shaded, pools 
most frequently among dead leaves and other 
detritus. Hydrochus imamkhani is found in more 
open areas amongst emergent vegetation in still or 
slow moving water. 

Hydrochus roepnaraini Makhan from New 
Caledonia belongs in this group. 



Hydrochus adelaidae Blackburn 

Hydrochus adelaidae Blackburn, 1888 p. 832 

= Hydrochus victoriae Blackburn, 1888 p. 834; 
syn. nov. 

Types 

Hydrochus adelaidae Blackburn. Holotype: 'T 
1618 ?A' 'Australia Blackburn Coll. B.N1 1910- 
236' 'Hydrochus Adelaidae', BMNH. Blackburn 
(1888) gives the type locality as 'River Torrens 
near Adelaide'. 

Hydrochus victoriae Blackburn. Lectotype: 
'Type' T 1551 V 'Australia Blackburn Coll. 
BM. 1910-236' 'Hydrochus victoriae Blackb.', 
BMNH. Herein designated. Blackburn (1888) 
gives the type locality as 'Ararat Victoria'. 

Paralectotype: 1, '1551V 'Victoria Blackburn' 
'Hydrochus victoriae Blackb. Co-type' SAMA. 
Herein designated. 

Description (number of specimens examined, 42) 
Size 2.5 to 3.7mm. Broadly elongate, elytra 
wider than pronotum, widest just behind middle, 
apex rounded. Head black; pronotum black, 
often with vague testaceous front margin; elytra 
testaceous to dark testaceous; ventral surface 
dark testaceous to black; legs light testaceous 
lacking darker knees. Head with large granules, 
epicranial suture weakly to moderately marked. 
Pronotum weakly waisted, densely covered with 
granules, which mask punctures; foveae virtually 
absent; epipleuron distinct, about one puncture 



width wide. Elytra without granules to 
moderately granulate, punctures relatively large 
often increasing in size considerably towards 
centre of elytra within a stria, interstria four 
tends to be raised particularly just behind 
middle, plica indistinct, apical punctures weak. 
Setae on head and towards apex of elytra weakly 
developed. Front of mesosternum in centre with 
three longitudinal carinae, the distance between 
them greater than their widths. Pseudoepipleuron 
moderately developed, epipleuron weakly 
developed in apical half, quite strongly 
developed in anterior half where it is 
approximately same width as pseudoepipleuron. 
Profemur moderately stout, basal pubescence 
moderate, about a quarter width of femur at base. 
Mesofemur elongate, narrowing to about two 
thirds greatest width towards base, basal 
pubescence well developed reaching to about a 
half width of base of femur beyond trochanter 
on ventral rear margin. Metafemur elongate, 
bowed on front margin. 

Male: Basal piece of aedeagus broad, 
subparallel, 1.4 to 1.8 times length of apical piece. 
Parameres wide in basal half, narrowing towards 
tip. Central lobe relatively narrow, sharply 
pointed, reaching to end of parameres. Similar to 
that of H. umbratilis, Fig. 14. 

Distribution 

South Australia 

Williamstown, SAMA. 

Tasmania 

Launceston, SAMA. 

Victoria 

Buangor. SAMA; 5 km NW Portland, SAMA. 

Remarks 

This species appears close to H. umbratilis but 
the strongly punctate and usually granule-free 
elytra readily tell them apart. For those specimens 
with more strongly granulate elytra (usually with 
weaker punctures also) the wider elytral epipleura 
will separate them. The elytra are often lighter in 
colour than the pronotum which seldom is the 
case in H. umbratilis. The parameres appear to 
narrow a little less abruptly in this species but the 
aedeagi are otherwise very similar. The pronotal 
epipleura are a little narrower than in H. 
umbratilis. Hydrochus australis is superficially 
similar, particularly strongly granulate specimens, 
but the front of the mesosternum, and the very 
different aedeagi readily separate them. Nor do H. 



AUSTRALIAN HYDROCHUS 



australis have the large elytral punctures seen in 
most H. adelaidae. 

Biology 

The species is most often found amongst dead 
leaves at the edges of ponds, which are often 
shaded and poorly vegetated. 



Hydrochus imamkhani Makhan 
Hydrochus imamkhani Makhan, 1994 

Type 

Holotype: 'New Guinea; SE Weam, 9m 
18.VI.1964' 'H. Clissold Light Trap BISHOP 
MUSEUM', BPBM. 

Description (number of specimens examined, 
94) Figs 2, 12, 13 

Length 2.8 -4.4mm. Elongate, elytra weakly to 
moderately broadened behind middle, narrowing 
quite abruptly near apex, obliquely truncate. Head 
dark brown to black, with iridescent sheen; 
pronotum dark brown, front margin sometimes 
lighter, often shiny iridescent green/gold; elytra 
dark brown to a shiny green/gold/silver surface, 
frequently with dark spots/markings, one of the 
more prominent around scutellum; ventral surface 
dark brown to black, legs light testaceous with 
parts of tarsi and knees darker. Head granulate/ 
punctate, epicranial suture weak. Pronotum 
rugose/punctate, punctures relatively small, sides 
may be weakly to moderately granulate, foveae 
weak, not bounded by raised areas, tendency for 
central third longitudinally to be raised, 
epipleuron well marked, one to two punctures 
deep, often fluted. Elytra usually rather smooth 
with small to medium, even-sized punctures, not 
granulate or with relatively weak granules at sides 
and apex; without apical punctures, interstriae 
variable from almost unraised to quite strongly 
swollen, in the latter case alternate interstriae 
unevenly raised with interstria four having a more 
prominent portion at start of elytral declivity, 
interstriae in dark areas not swollen and may even 
be slightly sunken, in some specimens some other 
striae weakly raised in places also; plica usually 
recognisable but incorporated into interstria eight 
if raised. Setae small but well developed on head 
and towards rear of elytra. Pronotal epipleuron 
distinct, two to three puncture widths deep, often 
fluted. Pseudoepipleuron moderately to quite well 
developed; epipleuron absent towards rear, weak 
in front, ridge between pseudoepipleuron and 
epipleuron strong. Profemur moderately elongate, 



weakly sinuate, basal pubescence weak, reduced 
to a very narrow band ventrally < quarter width of 
femur. Mesofemur elongate narrowing in basal 
third to about two-thirds its greatest width, basal 
pubescence moderate, reaching between a fifth 
and a third of width of femur at that point along 
rear margin beyond end of trochanter. Metafemur 
elongate, front edge weakly bowed. Front of 
mesosternum in middle with three broad 
longitudinal carinae, the lateral two usually 
broader than central one, area between carinae 
much narrower than carinae, behind these are a 
row of four round punctures. Metasternal 
punctures smaller and more numerous than in 
most other Australian species. 

Male: Basal piece of aedeagus broad, 
subparallel, 1.5-1.6 times length of apical piece. 
Apical piece bullet-shaped, parameres broad in 
basal half thin in apical quarter; central lobe 
relatively broad, sharply pointed, tip bent 
downwards, reaching to ends of parameres. Fig. 
12. 

Distribution 

Northern Territory 

Berry Springs, ANIC; Florence Falls, Litchfield 
NP, NHMW, CLH; Holmes Jungle, ANIC; 
Howard Springs, ANIC; Katherine, ANIC; Lake 
Bennett, NTM; Jabiru, SAMA; 10 km SW Jabiru, 
SAMA; 20 km SSW Jabiru, SAMA; Jim Jim 
Highway, Kakadu NP, CLH, NHMW; Jim Jim 
Falls, Kakadu NP, NHMW; 19 km E by S Mt 
Borradaile, ANIC; Murganella, NTM. 

Queensland 

8 km N Bluewater, SAMA; Cape Flattery area, 
DPIM; Dalby, SAMA; Dalhunty River, SAMA: 
Eubenargee Swamp, SAMA; 70 km SW 
Greenvale, SAMA; Iron Range, ANIC, UQIC 
Jardine River, UQIC; Lockerbie, UQIC; Mareeba. 
NHMW; 21 km E Mareeba, DPIM; Mary Creek. 
ANIC; 8 km E Mt Cahill; 2 km S Mt Molloy. 
SAMA; 2 km N Mt Molloy, SAMA; 6 km ENE 
Mt Tozer, ANIC; 1 1 km ENE Mt Tozer, ANIC; 3 
km NE Mt Tozer, ANIC; 2 km NNE Mt Tozer, 
ANIC; 3 km NE Mt Webb, ANIC; ANIC; Peach 
Creek, SAMA; 5 km W by W Rounded Hill, 
ANIC; Tolga, DPIM. 

Western Australia 

Carson Escarpment, ANIC; Drysdale River, 
ANIC; 12 km S Kalumburu Mission, ANIC; 
Mitchell Plateau, SAMA, ANIC; Peron Peninsula, 
WAM; Regans Ford, ANIC. 



10 



C. H. S. WATTS 



Remarks 

A large, distinctive, isolated species unlikely to 
be confused with any other Australian species. 
Hydrochus roepnaraini Makhan from New 
Caledonia appears to be close. Based only on the 
type specimen, H. roepnaraini has a similar 
mesosternal front and similar dorsal colour and 
sculpture to those H. imamkhani which have most 
elytral interstriae raised to some degrees in some 
places. The aedeagi are quite different with H. 
roepnaraini having a much longer apical piece 
(see fig. 26 in Makhan 1994). 

Hydrochus imamkhani was described from 
New Guinea but an examination of the type shows 
that it is conspecific with Australian specimens. 
Makhan (1994) thought it was similar to H. 
rodjani but this species is a junior synonym of H. 
obscuroaeneus, a very different species from H. 
imamkhani. 

I have seen two specimens of H. umbratilis 
from near Cardwell in North Queensland. Their 
dark colour, lack of elytral spots, strongly 
granulate pronotum and stouter legs separate them 
from H. imamkhani. 

Biology 

Most frequently found amongst emergent 
vegetation in ponds, swamps or slowly moving 
water. Taken at light. 



Hydrochus umbratilis sp. nov. 

Types 

Holotype: Male, 'VIC 10 km NE Mirranatwa 
12/10/97 C. Watts', SAMA. 

Paratypes: 35, same data as holotype, SAMA. 

Description (number of specimens examined, 93) 
Fig. 14 

Length 2.1 - 4.7mm. Broadly elongate, elytra 
widened somewhat behind middle, apex rounded. 
Dorsal surface testaceous to black; ventral surface 
dark brown, legs testaceous, parts of tarsi, knees 
and femora often darker. Head granulate, epicranial 
suture weak to moderate. Pronotum moderately to 
densely granulate, foveae virtually absent. Elytra 
moderately to very strongly granulate, punctures 
when visible small to moderate, alternate elytral 
interstriae weakly to strongly raised with interstria 
four often strongest; plica absorbed into interstria 
eight. Setae well developed on head and apical half 
of elytra. Pronotal epipleuron distinct, about one 
and a half puncture widths deep, often fluted. Front 
of mesosternum in centre with three longitudinal 



carinae, lateral ones about same width as central, 
area between them about equal to their width, 
tendency in some populations for this area to 
become relatively smooth and the carinae 
indistinct. Mesosternal punctures tending to be 
smaller and more numerous than usual. 
Pseudoepipleura moderately to quite strongly 
developed, epipleura absent behind, weak in front. 
Profemur moderately stout, basal pubescence 
relatively weak, reduced to very narrow band 
ventrally. Mesofemur elongate, narrowing a bit 
toward base, basal pubescence weak to moderate, 
at weakest reaching to end of trochanter at 
strongest reaching to about a quarter the width of 
base of femur beyond trochanter on ventral rear 
margin. Metafemur elongate, bowed on front 
margin. 

Male: Basal piece of aedeagus broad, subparallel, 
1.4 - 1.8 times length of apical piece. Parameres 
wide in basal half, rapidly narrowing, thin apically. 
Central lobe relatively narrow, sharply pointed, 
reaching to end of parameres (Fig. 14). 

Distribution 

Australian Capital Territory 

25 km W Canberra, ANIC. 

New South Wales 

Armadale, ANIC; Berry, SAMA; Collector, 
SAMA; 14 km W Delagate, SAMA; Nerriga, 
SAMA; 6 km N Uralla, ANIC. 

Queensland 

Caloundra, SAMA; Cardwell, ANIC; 10 km S 
Cardwell, SAMA; Cunninghams Gap, SAMA 

Tasmania 

Launceston, SAMA; 5 km W Maydena, 
NHMW 

Victoria 

Buangor, SAMA; Eustace Gap Creek, NMV; 
Glenferrie, CAL; Grampians, SAMA; 18 km NW 
Licola, NMV; 10 km NE Mirranatwa, SAMA; 4 
ml NE Nelson, NMV; 12 km SW Orbost, SAMA; 
5 km NW Portland, SAMA; 3 km SE Taggerty, 
NMV. 

Remarks 

This species and H. adelaidae are the only 
species in southern Australia with three 
longitudinal carinae at the front of the 
mesosternum. The narrower elytral epipleura in 
this species is the only certain character to 
separate the two. However, H. adelaidae never 



AUSTRALIAN HYDROCHUS 



II 









FIGURES 1-11. 1, Front of mesosternum of H. burdekinensis, with two longitudinal carinae; 2, Ditto of H. 
imamkhani, with three longitudinal carinae; 3, Pro(top) and meso femora (below) of H. obscuroaeneus, a group 3 
species; 4, Ditto, H. aschnakiranae, a group 4 species; 5, Ditto, H. interioris, a group 2 species; 6, Ventral view of 
elytron edge in H. australis showing epipleuron (right) and pseudoepipleuron (left) of approximately equal widths; 
7, Ditto, H. aschnakiranae showing weaker epipleuron; 8, Ditto, H. eurypleuron showing wide epipleuron and 
virtual lack of pseudoepipleuron; 9-10, Dorsal views of elytra showing variants of the colour pattern in H. 
lateviridis; 11, Ditto, H. burdekinensis. 



C. H. S. WATTS 



have strongly granulate elytra and H. umbratilis 
never have elytra with large punctures which 
often increase in size towards the middle of the 
elytra within one stria (this character is best 
viewed when the specimen is dry since when wet 
the appearance of granules is enhanced). The 
three longitudinal carinae, and the weak elytral 
epipleura will separate it from strongly granulate 
forms of H. australis. It is also a wider and darker 
species than H. australis with stronger pronotal 
epipleura. It shares with H. imamkhani the three 
carinae on the front of the mesosternum and also 
a tendency for the mesosternal punctation to he 
composed of numerous rather small punctures. 
The aedeagi are also very similar but the apical 
piece is shorter and the central lobe narrower than 
in H. imamkhani. It can be separated from this 
species most readily by its strongly granulate 
dorsal surface, dark colour and rounded elytral 
apex. 

Specimens from north coastal NSW to north 
Queensland are often chunkier with stouter legs, 
the alternate elytral interstriae more strongly 
raised and the elytral granulations usually weaker. 
Further specimens and study could well result in 
them being considered a separate species. 

Biology 

Found in dead leaves at the sides of still or 
slowly moving water, often in shaded situations. 

Etymology 

Latin, 'of the shade'- in reference to its dark 
colour and the fact that it is often found in deeply 
shaded ponds. 



Species Group 2 

The largest of the groups in terms of species, 
group 2 is characterised by having: two rather 
than three longitudinal carinae at the front of the 
mesosternum (Fig. 1); dark spots on the elytra 
which are often coloured in some way (Figs 9- 
11); thin spindle-shaped legs with weak basal 
pubescence (Fig. 5). All species have the elytral 
spotting to a greater or lesser degree but not all 
individuals. The only other Australian Hydrochus 
with similar markings is H. imamkhani in group 
1. Other character states that tend to distinguish 
the group are: lack of, or virtually lack of, setae 
on the dorsal surface; pubescence on the 
mesofemora usually not reaching much past the 
end of the trochanter; pubescence on the 
profemora complete but narrow ventrally (Fig. 5); 



pronotum either lacks or has very weak foveae; 
pronotal epipleura usually well marked; head with 
only a weak development of the epicranial suture; 
elytra usually smooth or with only weakly raised 
interstriae (in one species, H cucullatus, they may 
be strongly raised) and the plicae are usually 
obvious. 

All member species whose habitat is known 
live in relatively clean sand/gravel at the sides of 
rivers and streams. They are typically found in 
large numbers at the edges of sandy pools in the 
beds of drying rivers in tropical Australia where 
they are often concentrated just below the surface 
of the sand. All species in this group that I have 
observed, when dislodged, put their heads down 
and attempt, albeit weakly, to swim to the bottom, 
in contrast to species of other groups which use 
the surface film to crawl upside down until they 
reach the side or emergent objects or vegetation. 
They also appear more adept at clinging to sand 
grains etc. on the bottom than species in other 
groups. This is often seen in collecting trays 
where group 2 species tend to be on the bottom of 
the tray and species of other groups tend to float 
on the surface . 

The group is primarily tropical with only H. 
obsoletus commonly found in southern Australia. 



Hydrochus aenigmatis sp. nov. 

Types 

Holorxpe: male, 'Webers ck NSW 2/11/94', 
SAMA.' 

Paratypes: 4, same data as holotype, SAMA; 1, 
'Megalong Vy. Blue Mts N.S.W. Jan 
20^32, 1000ft' 'Australia Harvard Esp. 
Darlington', MCZ; 1, '21 ml. S of Miriam Vale Q 
24°38S 151°34E 14.xii.1968 E. Britton & S. 
Misko', ANIC. 

Description (number of specimens examined, 10) 
Fig. 18 

Length 2.5 - 3.1mm. Elongate, elytra a little 
wider in the middle, tip rounded or weakly 
obliquely truncate. Head and pronotum dark 
steely-grey often with silver reflections; elytra dull 
brown to steely-grey, three to four rather small 
dark spots near suture, usually indistinct, about 
equal in size; ventral surface dark brown to black, 
legs testaceous, parts of tarsi, knees and basal part 
of femora darker. Head shallowly and rather 
smoothly granulate/punctate, epicranial suture 
weak. Pronotum with rather sparse, small shallow 
punctures, occasionally weakly granulate laterally, 



AUSTRALIAN HYDROCHUS 



[3 



surface uneven, foveae indistinct. Elytra with 
relatively small punctures, separated within striae 
by about same width as interstriae or a bit less; 
alternate interstriae not or only weakly raised; 
plica present; apical punctures usually well 
developed. Setae virtually absent from head and 
elytra. Pronotal epipleuron poorly defined, about 
two puncture widths wide, weakly fluted. Elytral 
pseudoepipleuron moderate, epipleuron absent 
apically, weak behind middle, widening to about 
same width as pseudoepipleuron in front. Front of 
mesosternum in centre with two narrow, raised, 
longitudinal carinae, the area between them 
shallow to moderately deep, particularly behind. 
Profemur rather stout, basal pubescence weak, 
reduced to a narrow band ventrally. Mesofemur 
elongate, weakly spindle-shaped, narrowing 
basally to about two thirds its greatest width, basal 
pubescence moderate, reaching to between a 
quarter and a half width of femur past trochanter 
on ventral edge. Metafemur elongate, bowed on 
front edge narrowing to about three quarters its 
greatest width basally. 

Male: Basal piece of aedeagus straight sided, 
1.5 to 1.7 times length of apical piece. Apical 
piece bullet-shaped, parameres narrow and weakly 
paddle-shaped in apical half. Central lobe very 
wide, considerably shorter than parameres; in 
lateral view ventral surface flat, width rapidly 
reducing in middle (Fig. 18). 

Distribution 

New South Wales 

Megalong Valley, MCZ; Webers Creek, 
SAMA. 

Queensland 

15 km W Gympie, NMV; 21 ml S Miriam Vale, 
ANIC. 

Remarks 

A rare species from the east coast, separable 
from other group 2 species with dark legs by its 
relative lack of granules, stouter legs and more 
extensive basal pubescence on the mesofemora. It 
can be confused most readily with the much 
commoner H. interioris, from which it differs in 
having stouter mesofemora with a greater amount 
of basal pubescence, and a broader central lobe to 
the aedeagus. Based on the few specimens known, 
H. aenigmatis also appears to be a more southern 
species than H. interioris. 

In size and general colour H. aenigmatis 
approaches H. obsoletus, the only other group 2 
species in the South-east. It differs from this 



species in the stronger basal pubescence on the 
mesofemur, which reaches more than a quarter 
the width of the femur past the trochanter whereas 
in H. obsoletus it usually is only a bit beyond the 
end of the trochanter; in the dark areas on the 
legs; in the rougher pronotal surface; narrow less 
distinct pronotal epipleura and in having the 
pronotum the same colour as the head whereas in 
H. obsoletus the head is often darker. The male 
genitalia approach those of H. obsoletus but have 
a much broader central lobe and, in lateral view, 
the apical piece is flat dorsally and narrows 
abruptly in the middle ventrally, in contrast to the 
more evenly narrowing shape in H. obsoletus. 

Biology 
Nothing known 

Etymology 
Latin. 'Obscure'- a reference to its rarity. 



Hydrochus atratus sp.nov. 

Types 

Holotype: male, 'Qld. Burdekin r. E of Charters 
Towers 4 May 1998 C.H.S. Watts', SAMA. 

Paratypes: 16 same data as holotype, SAMA. 

Description (number of specimens examined, 
221) Fig. 19 

Length 0.9 - 2.4mm. Elongate, elytra wider 
behind middle, rounded or somewhat pinched 
near apex. Head shiny black; pronotum shiny 
black, granules if present often silver; elytra dark 
brown to black with vague darker spots in some, 
occasionally quite silvery; ventral surface dark 
brown to black, legs light to quite dark testaceous, 
parts of tarsi, knees and femora usually darker. 
Head granulate/punctate often with bare areas, 
epicranial suture weak to moderate. Pronotum 
variable, from strongly granulate/punctate to 
dense, rugose, rather large punctures, foveae 
absent. Elytra variably granulate/punctate, 
punctures moderate sized, within striae separated 
by about width of interstriae. Interstriae four and 
eight may be weakly raised in parts, plicae visible. 
Setae on head and elytra absent. Pronotal 
epipleuron poorly to moderately defined but 
relatively deep. Front of mesosternum in middle 
with two narrow longitudinal carinae, area 
between them quite deeply excavated in front, less 
so behind. Elytral pseudoepipleuron moderate to 
broad, epipleuron absent behind increasing to 
equal to width of pseudoepipleuron or a little less 



14 



C. H. S. WATTS 



in front third. Profemur elongate, basal 
pubescence moderate, reaching to about a quarter 
width of femur ventrally. Mesofemur spindle- 
shaped, narrowing to more than half its greatest 
width in basal quarter, basal pubescence weak, 
reduced to a very narrow band ventrally. 
Metafemur rather broad, bowed on front edge, 
narrowing to nearly half its greatest width toward 
base. 

Male: Basal piece of aedeagus with parallel 
sides or weakly converging toward base, 1.8-2.1 
times length of apical piece. Apical piece 
moderately to strongly elongate triangular, in 
more elongate forms with constriction in middle. 
Central lobe narrow, nearly as long as parameres 
(Fig. 19). 

Distribution 

Northern Territory 

Adelaide River, ANIC; Cooper Creek near Mt 
Borradaile, SAMA; 20 km SSW Jabiru, SAMA; 
Kongarra, NTM; Korlonjorlok Stream, Kakadu 
NP, NTM; 6 km E Mt Cahill, NTM; 8 km E Mt 
Cahill, ANIC; 19 km E by S Mt Borradaile, 
ANIC; 5 km SE Mt Borradaile Station, SAMA; 

1 1 km S by W Nimbuwah Rock, NTM; 6 km SW 
by S Oenpelli, ANIC; UDP Falls, Kakadu NP, 
NTM; Woolwonga Fauna Reserve, ANIC. 

Queensland 

Archer River, SAMA; Borumba Dam, CLH, 
NHMW; Burdekin River, SAMA; Burdekin River 
E of Charters Towers, SAMA; Dalrymple, 30 km 
N Charters Towers, NHMW; 70 km SW 
Greenvale, SAMA; 2 km S Mt Molloy, SAMA; 
Starr River, SAMA. 

Western Australia 

Augustus Island, ANIC; Drysdale River, ANIC; 

12 km S Kalumburu Mission, ANIC; 14 km S by 
E Kalumburu Mission, ANIC; 4 km W King 
Cascade, ANIC; Kunmunya Mission, ANIC; 4 km 
S by W Mining Camp Mitchell Plateau (15.38S 
125.15E), ANIC; 10 km NW by N Mining Camp 
Mitchell Plateau, ANIC; Point d'Entrecasteaux, 
WAM. 

Remarks 

Specimens of the species are the smallest 
Australian Hydrochus, with Northern Territory 
and Kimberley specimens often less than a 
millimetre long. In certain parts of their range they 
can reach 2.5mm which overlaps the size range of 
the very similar H. interioris. Hydrochus 
interioris is larger, the pronotal surface is very 



uneven and the apical punctures on the elytra are 
often well developed whereas in H. atratus the 
pronotal surface (ignoring the punctures) is 
relatively smooth and the apical punctures seldom 
larger than adjacent punctures. Small individuals 
of H. interioris are difficult to separate from H. 
atratus other than by the aedeagus. In general H. 
atratus are darker, without elytral spots, rounded 
more than elongate and may have dark shadows 
on the pronotum. The aedeagus in H. atratus has 
a more triangular shaped apical piece and 
narrower central lobe. 

Hydrochus atratus is easily separated from well 
coloured individuals of H. lateviridis but larger 
specimens can be very similar to dark specimens 
of H. lateviridis. From H. lateviridis it differs in 
the narrower elytral epipleura, in often having 
dark portions to its legs, in the stouter meso and 
metafemora which narrow to between two thirds 
and half their greatest widths basically, rather than 
to more than half in H. lateviridis, and in the 
pronotum and head of H. lateviridis often having 
a greenish tinge absent in H. atratus. Hydrochus 
atratus often has, uniquely in Australian 
Hydrochus, dark and light areas on the pronotum. 
The aedeagi of some H. atratus resemble those of 
some H. lateviridis but in H. lateviridis the central 
lobe is more exposed and bulbous, the base of the 
apical piece is always narrower than the basal 
piece and the aedeagus may be twisted (Figs 25 - 
27). 

Four specimens from Kunmunya Mission, WA, 
in ANIC belong to this species or possibly a new 
one. They differ in having broader 
pseudoepipleura, a more uneven pronotal surface 
and a narrower, waisted apical piece to the 
aedeagus. 

Biology 

Found most commonly in bare coarse sand at 
the edge of small pools beside seasonally drying 
large rivers. In such places they can be extremely 
abundant. Taken at light. 

Etymology 

Latin. 'Dressed in black' - a reference to its 
black colouring. 



Hydrochus burdekinensis sp. nov. 

Types 

Holotype: male, 'Qld. Burdekin r E of Charters 
Towers. 4 May 1998 C.H.S. Watts', SAMA. 

Paratypes: 60, same data as holotype, SAMA. 



AUSTRALIAN HYDROCHUS 



15 




12 




13 








■ ■ 








M 








FIGURES 12-22. 12-13, Ventral views of two forms of aedeagus in H. imamkhani; 14, H. umbratilis; 15, H. 
macroaquilonius; 16, H. decorus; 17, H. eurypleuron; 18, H. aenigmatis; 19, H. atratus; 20-22, forms of H. 
interioris. 



Description (number of specimens examined, 
380) Figs 1, 11,24 

Length 2.0 - 3.3mm. Broadly elongate, elytra 
weakly wider behind middle, constricted slightly 
towards apex. Head black, often with greenish 



iridescence; pronotum light testaceous, 
sometimes darker testaceous on disc or, rarely, 
over whole pronotum; elytra usually light 
testaceous to testaceous, with darker elytral spots 
varying from absent to moderate, spots sub equal 



C. H. S. WATTS 



in size (Fig. 11), occasional specimens mainly 
from western Arnhem Land are silver/golden/ 
greenish on most of the dorsal surface; ventral 
surface testaceous to black, legs yellow 
testaceous except for darker tip to tarsi. Setae 
lacking on dorsal surface. Head sparsely to 
moderately covered with weak punctures, 
epicranial suture weak. Pronotum varying from 
smooth with moderate punctures to rugose/ 
punctate to densely covered with small granules. 
Elytral punctures small to moderate, area between 
them within striae usually less than width of 
interstriae, occasionally with weak to moderate 
granules; interstriae not or only weakly raised; 
plicae present. Pronotal epipleuron distinct, shiny, 
two to three punctures deep, occasionally fluted. 
Pseudoepipleuron moderate, elytral epipleuron 
absent behind, narrow in middle, widening only 
slightly in front third. Front of mesosternum in 
centre with two longitudinal carinae, area between 
them moderately excavated. Profemur moderate, 
basal pubescence weak, reduced to narrow band 
ventrally. Mesofemur spindle shaped, narrowing 
to half to a third greatest width, basal pubescence 
very weak to moderate, reduced to a narrow band 
ventrally. Metafemur stouter than mesofemur. 

Male: Basal piece of aedeagus with sides 
parallel, 2.0 - 2.7 times length of apical piece. 
Apical piece bullet-shaped, central lobe 
moderately wide, pointed, nearly as long as 
parameres (Fig. 24). 

Distribution 

Northern Territory 

5 km SE Mt Borradaile Station, SAMA; 33 
km SW Borroloola, ANIC; 14 km NW Cape 
Crawford, ANIC; Cooper Creek near Mt 
Borradaile, SAMA; Deaf Adder Gorge Kakadu 
NP, NTM; Edith Falls near Katherine, CAL; 
Jim Jim Creek, Kakadu NP, ANIC; Jim Jim 
Falls. Kakadu NP, CLH, NHMW; 1 km W 
Gubara, Kakadu NP, SAMA; Malapanbango 
Creek Kakadu NP, NTM; 8 km E Mt Cahill, 
ANIC; 9 km SSE Mudginbarry Homestead, 
ANIC 

Queensland 

Boar Pocket Road, ANIC; Burdekin River, 
SAMA; Burdekin River E of Charters Towers, 
SAMA; Bushy Creek, Mossman - Mt Lewis 
Road, ANIC; Cardstone, ANIC; Charters Towers, 
SAMA; Hann River, NMV; Kuranda, ANIC; 73 
km NW by W Laura, ANIC; 70 km N Laura, 
DPIM; Lake Tinaroo, ANIC; Mary Creek, ANIC, 
SAMA; 60 km NW Mt Isa, SAMA; 60 km W Mt 



Garnet, DPIM; Musgrave, DPIM; 1 km W 
Petford, SAMA; 1 km WSW Petford, DPIM; 
Strathmore Station, DPIM. 

Western Australia 

17 km N by E Cane River Homestead, ANIC; 
De Grey River, ANIC; Gascoyne River, ANIC; 12 
km S Kalumburu Mission, ANIC; 4 km W King 
Cascade, ANIC; Millstream, ANIC; Mitchell 
Plateau, ANIC; Regans Ford, ANIC; Synnot 
Creek, ANIC; West Peawah River, ANIC, SAMA; 
Winjana Gorge, CAL. 

Remarks 

Widespread and relatively common in northern 
Australia, H. burdekinensis can be most readily 
recognised by its testaceous legs and, in the 
majority of specimens, testaceous elytra and 
pronotum. The darker spots on the elytra are 
usually not well marked and often absent. 

Hydrochus burdekinensis can most easily be 
confused with H. simplicicoliis which is a rarer 
species known only from North Queensland. 
Its black ventral surface and extensive area of 
dark testaceous on the pronotum will separate 
H. simplicicoliis from most H. burdekinensis. 
Hydrochus simplicicoliis also has stouter 
mesofemora, which, unlike H. burdekinensis, 
are similar in shape to the metafemora 
although a bit smaller overall. The apical 
pieces of the male aedeagi differ considerably 
in comparative length between the two species 
(Figs 24 - 27). Hydrochus lateviridis is 
generally a smaller species with greenish 
tinges and much more strongly developed dark 
markings on the elytra (Figs 9, 10). Some 
specimens of H. obsoletus from New South 
Wales are identical in colour to some H. 
burdekinensis but differ in having stouter legs 
and a more elongate apical piece of the 
aedeagus. In the Northern Territory specimens 
are often a rather uniform greenish/golden on 
the dorsal surface and can be confused with 
smaller specimens of H. macroaquilonius . 
They can be separated from this species by 
their yellow legs, stronger elytral epipleura and 
better developed pronotal epipleura. The 
aedeagus of H. macroaquilonius can not be 
separated from the more elongate forms of the 
aedeagus of H. burdekinensis which can be 
found in the same region. 

Biology 

A common species in bare sand at the edge of 
moderate to large rivers. Taken at light. 



AUSTRALIAN HYDROCHUS 



17 



Etymology 

A reference to the river where the species is 
particularly common. 



Hydrochus cucullatus sp. no v. 

Types 

Holotype: male, '2 km N Mt Molloy Qld. 
5.2.97 C. Watts', SAMA. 

Paratopes: 3, same data as holotype, SAMA; 
1, 'Peach Ck. N. Qld. 24/7/82 C. Watts', SAMA; 
3, '(19°10S 145°47E) Running River, Q 24 km 
W, of Paluma, 13.1.70, pools in sandy river bed 
Britton & Misko', ANIC; 3, 'Kambah Pool ACT 
26/1 1/98 C. Watts' SAMA. 

Description (number of specimens examined, 11) 
Fig. 23 

Length 2.3 - 3.5mm. Broadly elongate, widest 
just behind middle of elytra. Head black with 
greenish iridescence; pronotum dark testaceous 
with lighter front edge; elytra steely grey to dark 
testaceous with small darker spots, spots near 
suture approximately same size, spot over plica 
tending to be stronger; ventral surface testaceous 
to black, legs testaceous, apex of tarsi darker. 
Head sparsely granulate/punctate, epicranial 
suture weak. Pronotum with quite dense, strong 
deep punctures, smaller and more rugose at sides, 
surface uneven, front edge thickened, raised, 
forming a weak hood over neck of head. Elytra 
with relatively strong punctures, separated within 
striae by same width or less than interstriae, 
interstriae two and four weakly to moderately 
raised, more strongly near base and again near 
middle, interstria eight moderately raised in front 
of plica and incorporating plica. Pronotal 
epipleuron moderately delineated, about two to 
three punctures deep, often fluted. Front of 
mesosternum in middle with two narrow 
longitudinal carinae, area between them quite 
deep, pseudoepipleuron weak to moderate, elytral 
epipleuron absent behind, very narrow in middle 
widening to about same size as pseudoepipleuron 
in front third. Profemur elongate, basal 
pubescence weak, reduced to narrow band 
ventrally. Mesofemur spindle shaped, narrowing 
toward base to between one third and one half its 
greatest width; basal pubescence moderate, 
reaching a little beyond end of trochanter. 
Metafemur somewhat thicker and less spindle 
shaped than mesofemur. 

Male: Basal piece of aedeagus broad, 
narrowing a bit towards base, 1.6 - 1.7 times 



length of apical piece. Parameres bulbous at 
base, narrow and paddle-shaped in apical half. 
Central lobe broad, much shorter than parameres, 
leaving gap in front of it between the parameres 
(Fig. 23). 

Distribution 

Australian Capital Territory 

Kambah Pool, SAMA. 

Queensland 

2 km N Mt Molloy, SAMA; 24 km W Paluma, 
ANIC; Peach Creek, SAMA. 

Remarks 

A seemingly rare species relatively close to 
H. burdekinensis. It differs from this species 
by the more uneven, almost foveate, pronotum 
and the greater tendency for the elytral 
interstriae to be raised. The raised, thickened 
front edge of the pronotum in H. cucullatus is 
distinctive, as is the male genitalia with wide 
basal piece, short central lobe and paddle- 
shaped tips to the parameres. The aedeagus 
most closely resemble that of H. interioris but 
in that species the parameres are shorter and 
the central lobe comparatively longer. 
Otherwise H. interioris is uniformly iridescent 
on the dorsal surface, has dark legs, lacks 
forms with testaceous ventral surface, often 
has the pronotum with foveae and lacks the 
raised front margin of the pronotum. 

The testaceous ventral surface, raised 
interstriae, raised front margin of pronotum and 
aedeagus will separate it from the other species 
with wholly testaceous legs. 

Biology 

The few known specimens have been taken at 
the edge of sandy rivers or in sandy areas at the 
edge of ponds. 

Etymology 

Latin. 'Hooded' - in reference to the raised 
hood-like front edge of the prothorax. 



Hydrochus decorus sp. nov. 

Types 

Holotype: male, 'Qld Greenvale 70 km SW at 
light 14-24 Mar. 1995 A. J. Watts', SAMA. 

Paratypes: 28, same data as holotype, SAMA; 
11, same data as holotype except 12-21 Apr., 
SAMA. 



C. H. S. WATTS 



Description (number of specimens examined, 72) 
Fig. 16 

Length 2.3 - 3.4mm. Relatively broad, elytra 
widening behind middle, rapidly narrowing to 
apex. Dorsal surface shiny, usually with strong 
greenish golden reflections; elytra typically with 
three to four darker spots near suture, one on 
shoulder and one on plica, anterior sutural spot 
usually largest. Ventral surface brown to dark 
brown, legs light to moderately testaceous, parts 
of tarsi, knees and parts of femora darker. Setae 
absent from dorsal surface, or virtually so. Head 
strongly granulate/punctate, epicranial suture 
weakly to moderately developed. Pronotum 
dorsally granulate/punctate, foveae weakly 
developed. Elytra with moderate, rather evenly 
sized punctures, interstriae granulate to varying 
degrees, alternate interstriae weakly to moderately 
developed, plica incorporated into interstria eight. 
Pronotal epipleuron moderately well marked, one 
to two puncture widths wide. Elytral epipleuron 
broad to very broad, narrowing rapidly in apical 
fifth, lacking pseudoepipleuron. Front of 
mesosternum in middle with two weakly raised 
longitudinal carinae, area between them with 
vague raised portions in a rough cross shape. 
Profemur stout, rapidly narrowing to base, basal 
pubescence weak, virtually lacking ventrally. 
Mesofemur extremely spindle-shaped with narrow 
basal portion about one third of greatest width, 
basal pubescence weak, in very narrow band 
along junction with trochanter ventrally. 
Metafemur elongate, narrowing basally to about 
half greatest width. 

Male: Basal piece of aedeagus long, parallel 
sided or narrowing at base, sometimes weakly 
twisted, 1.5 - 1.7 times length of apical piece. 
Apical piece narrow at base, widening to middle 
then narrowing to sharp point. Central lobe 
moderately broad, a little shorter than parameres 
(Fig. 16). 

Distribution 

Northern Territory 

5 km SE Mt Borradaile Station, SAMA; 
Morianty Creek, SAMA; Palm Creek, NTM; 
Roderick Creek, Gregory N P, NTM. 

Queensland 

Burdekin River near Charters Towers, SAMA 
Bushland Beach, 20 km N Townsville, SAMA 
Dalrymple, 30 km N Charters Towers, NHMW 
Einasleigh River, DPIM; 70 km S Greenvale, 
SAMA; Laura, SAMA; Mitchell River, DPIM; Mt 
Mulligan, DPIM; 16°28S 144°46E, ANIC. 



Western Australia 

Fitzroy River, ANIC; 12 km S Kalumburu, 
ANIC; 4 km W King Cascade, ANIC; 6.5 km N 
Mt Bell, WAM; 3 ml E Pago Mission, FIELD; 
Synnot Creek, ANIC. 

Remarks 

Hydrochus decorus is close to H. eurypleuron 
but the majority of specimens of H. decorus can 
be separated from H. eurypleuron by their broader 
shape, bright green/golden colour and darker spots 
on elytra. The aedeagus of H. decorus is unusual 
in having the base of the parameres narrower than 
the middle, otherwise there is little difference 
between the two species. In occasional specimens 
the colour is generally duller and the elytral spots 
indistinct. These can be difficult to distinguish 
from H. eurypleuron except by the aedeagi. The 
occasional specimen of H. interioris can be 
mistaken for H. decorus (or H. eurypleuron) but 
these have a more extensive development of the 
pseudoepipleura, are generally narrower and lack 
or virtually lack granulation on the pronotum and 
elytra. 

Biology 

I have collected this species from sandy areas at 
the side of moderate to large rivers in similar 
habitat to H. burdekinensis and H. lateviridis. 
Taken at light. 

Etymology 

Latin, 'splendid' - in reference to the bright 
green jewel-like qualities of some specimens. 



Hydrochus eurypleuron sp. nov. 

Types 

Holotype: male, 'Qld. Greenvale 70 km SW at 
light 12-21 Apr 1995 A. J. Watts', SAMA. 

Paratypes: 1 1 , same data as holotype, SAMA; 
12, same data as holotype except 14-24 Mar, 
SAMA. 

Description (number of specimens examined, 50) 
Figs 8,17 

Length 1.8 - 2.7mm. Moderately elongate, 
elytra widened behind middle, rapidly narrowing 
to apex, weakly to quite strongly serrate laterally. 
Dorsal surface dark brown to black; ventral 
surface dark brown to black; legs light to 
moderately testaceous, parts of tarsi and femora 
often darker. Head strongly granulate, pronotum 
densely and strongly granulate/punctate, foveae 



AUSTRALIAN HYDROCHUS 



19 



indistinct, shallow. Epicranial suture weakly to 
moderately impressed. Elytral punctures moderate, 
even sized over most of elytra, interstriae weakly 
to strongly granulate, alternate interstriae 
moderately raised, particularly towards apex and 
interstria eight, plica incorporated into interstria 
eight. Front of head and apex of elytra with weak- 
moderate setae. Pronotal epipleuron moderate, 
very poorly differentiated from top of pronotum. 
Pseudoepipleuron absent or weakly developed at 
apex only, elytral epipleuron wide, narrowing 
rapidly towards extreme apex. Front of 
mesosternum in the middle relatively smooth but 
with two short longitudinal carinae just traceable. 
Profemur stout but rapidly narrowing basally to 
less than half its greatest width, basal pubescence 
weak, reduced to a narrow band ventrally. 
Mesofemur elongate, becoming very narrow 
basally, basal pubescence weak stretching in a 
narrow band along junction with trochanter 
ventrally. Metafemur elongate, narrowing towards 
base to about half greatest width. 

Male: Basal piece of aedeagus weakly 
twisted, narrowing near base, 1.5 - 1.7 times 
length of apical piece. Apical piece narrow, 
bullet shaped or weakly constricted towards 
apex. Central lobe narrow, nearly as long as 
parameres (Fig. 17). 

Distribution 

Northern Territory 

Barramundi Gorge, Kakadu NP, CLH, NHMW; 
8 km ESE Cape Crawford, ANIC; Edith Falls near 
Katherine, CAL; Katherine Gorge, DP1M; 
Kongarra, ANIC; 8 km ENE Victoria River 
Downs, ANIC. 

Queensland 

Boggy Creek near Cooktown, ANIC; Burdekin 
River, SAMA; 20 km NW Charters Towers, 
NHMW; Einasleigh River, DPIM; 70 km S 
Greenvale, SAMA; Iron Range, ANIC; Laura, 
DPIM; 21 km E Mareeba, DPIM; 23 km N 
Mareeba, DPIM; Palm Creek, DPIM; 5 km SE Mt 
Borradaile Station, SAMA; Reid River near 
Mingela, SAMA; 15 km NNW South Johnstone, 
DPIM; Tolga, DPIM. 

Western Australia 

Carson Escarpment, ANIC; Fitzroy River, 
ANIC; 14 km S by W Kalumburu Mission, ANIC; 
King Edward River, ANIC; Millstream, ANIC; 3 
km NW Millstream, ANIC; 1 km NNE 
Millstream, ANIC; Mining camp Mitchell Plateau, 
ANIC; 4 km S by W Mining camp Mitchell 



Plateau, ANIC; Synnot Creek, ANIC; Wittenoom 
Gorge, CAL. 

Remarks 

Most readily separated from the closely related 
H. decorus by its duller dorsal colour and lack of 
elytral spots. In an occasional specimen, mostly 
from the Kimberley, vague dark spots can be seen 
in certain lights. In general it is a narrow species 
and does not reach the broad form with strongly 
serrated elytral edges quite frequent in H. decorus. 
Some specimens of H. interioris could be 
confused with this species due to their 
comparatively well developed elytral epipleura 
and weak pseudoepipleura. Apart from the 
presence of the pseudoepipleura, these lack, or 
virtually lack, granules on the pronotum and elytra 
and usually have quite well marked spots on the 
elytra. 

Biology 

The little habitat information available suggests 
that this species lives at the edge of small to 
moderate-sized sandy rivers. Taken at light. 

Etymology 

Greek, 'wide ribbed'- in reference to the very 
broad epipleura in this species. 



Hydrochus interioris Blackburn 
Hydrochus interioris Blackburn, 1896 

Types 

Lectotype: 'Ellery Cr' 'Cent-Aust Coll Horn 
Pres 7-97' 'Hydrochus interioris Blackb.', with 
more recent red labels 'Type' 'Syntype T- 13206 
Hydrochus interioris Blackburn, 1896', NMV. 
Herein designated. 

Paralectotypes: 1 'Paisley Bluff Cent. Aust. 
Horn Exp.' 'Hydrochus interioris Blk del by Blkb' 
'F.E. Wilson Collection' with more recent blue 
labels '2296 Cotype' 'Paratype T-2296 Hydrochus 
interioris Blackb', NMV; 1, '5489 Paisly, BP 
'Hydrochus Horni Bl Co-t' 'Id by A.M. Lea 
Griffith Collection' 'Really is interioris Bl made a 
mistake in labelling co-types', SAMA; 1, '5489 
Paisly BP 'Hydrochus Horni Blackb Co-type', 
SAMA; 1, '5489 Paisly BP 'Horni, Blackb' 'this 
is interioris, BP, SAMA. Herein designated. I 
agree with Lea's comments on the SAMA 
specimens. See also Lea (1926). In NMV there 
are additional specimens obviously collected and 
labelled at the same time as the ones later labelled 



20 



C. H. S. WATTS 



as cotypes. I am unaware why some have been 
labelled as cotypes and others not. The SAMA 
cotypes where labelled as such by Blackburn 
albeit incorrectly. 

Description (number of specimens examined, 
261) Figs 5, 20-22 

Length 2.1 - 3.3mm. Narrowly to moderately 
elongate, elytra widened slightly to considerably 
behind middle, narrowing quite rapidly to apex. 
Head black/silvery/golden; pronotum black often 
with bright silver reflections; elytra dark brown- 
black, often with bright silver or occasionally 
golden reflections, black spots visible to varying 
degrees dependent on background colour; ventral 
surface dark brown; legs testaceous, parts of tarsi 
and femora darker. Head granulate/punctate, 
epicranial suture weakly to moderately impressed. 
Pronotum rugose/punctate to granulate. Elytra 
with moderate punctures, distance between them 
within striae same as distance between striae, 
granules absent to strong, apical punctures often 
well marked; elytral interstriae not or only slightly 
raised. Setae on head and apex of elytra weakly to 
moderately developed. Pronotal epipleuron 
moderately developed, two to three punctures 
deep, fluted. Pseudoepipleuron moderately to well 
developed, elytral epipleuron absent behind, 
increasing in front to about equal width of 
pseudoepipleuron. Front of mesosternum in 
middle with two longitudinal carinae, area 
between them deeper in front than behind. 
Profemur quite stout, narrowing to about half its 
greatest width basally, basal pubescence weak 
reduced to a narrow band ventrally. Mesofemur 
elongate, spindle-shaped, reduced to about half its 
greatest width in basal third, basal pubescence 
weak, reduced to narrow band ventrally, usually 
less than a quarter of its basal width. Metafemur 
elongate, bowed on front edge, reduced to almost 
half its greatest width near base. 

Male: Basal piece of aedeagus straight sided, 
1.5 - 2.6 times apical piece. Apical piece varying 
from elongate triangular to bullet-shaped. 
Parameres narrowly to moderately broad 
apically. Central lobe rather narrow to 
moderately wide, shorter than parameres, tip 
rounded, occasionally with a hint of a twist at tip 
(Figs 20-22). 

Distribution 

Northern Territory 

32 km W Alice Springs, ANIC; Barramundi 
Creek, Kakadu NP, SAMA; Barramundi Gorge, 
Kakadu NP, NHMW, CLH; 22 km WSW 



Borroloola, ANIC; 80 km SW Borroloola, ANIC; 
8 km ESE Cape Crawford, ANIC; 14 km NW 
Cape Crawford, ANIC; Cooper Creek near Mt 
Borradaile, SAMA; Ellery Gorge, ANIC, SAMA, 
NMV; 11 km E labiru, SAMA; 20 km SSW 
labiru, SAMA; Jim Jim Highway, Kakadu NP, 
NHWM, CLH; Jim Jim Falls, Kakadu NP, 
NHWM, 1 km W Gubara, Kakadu NP, SAMA; 
Gungurul Lookout, Kakadu, NHWM; Howard 
Springs, ANIC, SAMA; Kongarra, ANIC, NTM; 
Litchfield NP, ANIC; 1 km NNW Mudginbarry 
Homestead ANIC; 19 km E by S Mt Borradaile, 
ANIC, NTM; 6 km SE Mt Borradaile, SAMA; 19 
km WSW Mt Cahill, ANIC; 8 km E Mt Cahill, 
ANIC; Nabarlek Dam, ANIC; 46 km WSW Mt 
Cahill, ANIC; 15 km E Mt Cahill, NTM; 
Nawurlandja, Kakadu NP, SAMA; 18 km E by N 
Oenpelli, ANIC; Orminston Gorge, SAMA; 
Paisley Bluff, NMV; Pine Creek, NTM; Roderick 
Creek, NTM; Simpsons Gap, SAMA; UDP Falls, 
Kakadu NP, NTM; Vaughan Springs, SAMA. 

Queensland 

20 km S Bloomfield, SAMA; Burdekin River, 
SAMA; Burdekin River E of Charters Towers, 
SAMA; 30 ml N Cooktown, UQIC; Coen, 
SAMA; 24 ml SE Einasleigh, CAL; 70 km SW 
Greenvale, SAMA; Iron Range, UQIC; McLeod 
River near Cooktown, SAMA; Mcllwraith Ranges 
Weather Station, SAMA 

Western Australia 

Drysdale River, ANIC; 12 km S Kalumburu 
Mission, ANIC; 14 km S by E Kalumburu 
Mission, ANIC; 4 km W King Cascade, ANIC; 
King Edward Range, ANIC; Mining Camp 
Mitchell Plateau, ANIC; 4 km WSW Mining 
Camp Mitchell Plateau, ANIC. 

Remarks 

As I have interpreted it, H. interioris is a 
common, widespread and variable species across 
northern and central Australia. It does not appear 
to be present east of the Dividing Range. In the 
Kimberley and coastal Northern Territory most 
specimens are narrow, weakly granulate, often 
with a silvery or less frequently a golden sheen 
and their aedeagi are relatively broad. At the 
eastern edge of their range on Cape York, 
Queensland, they are strongly granulate and often 
broad, with narrower more elongate aedeagi, and 
darker although when wet the typical dark spots 
and silvery patches are usually clear. The type 
population in central Australia tends to be 
intermediate. 



AUSTRALIAN HYDROCHUS 



21 



Hydrochus interioris can most easily be 
separated from related species by its dark legs, 
uneven surface to the pronotum, narrow 
mesofemur but only moderately narrowed 
metafemur, weak basal pubescence on 
mesofemur, the frequent presence of moderate 
apical punctures, often silvery elytra with simple 
but often masked pattern of dark spots and, 
particularly in Queensland specimens, very strong 
dorsal granules. The aedeagus is unusual in 
having the basal half of the parameres often 
swollen ventrally rather than the more usual 
dorsally. 

It can be confused with H. macroaquilonius 
(see under that species) and H. eurypleuron which 
is superficially similar but has much broader 
elytral epipleura, and H. aenigmatis, a more 
southerly species, with broader mesofemora with 
stronger basal pubescence, elytra and pronotum 
not granulate and with a very broad short central 
lobe to the aedeagus. Small specimens are 
difficult to distinguish from H. atratus (see under 
that species). 

Biology 

This common and widespread species is found 
in bare sandy areas beside creeks and rivers or the 
pools left in drying river beds. Taken at light. 



Hydrochus lateviridis Blackburn 

Hydrochus lateviridis Blackburn, 1896 

Type 

Holotype: male 'Ellery ck' 'Cent. Aust. Coll. 
Horn Exp. Pres. 8.98' 'Hydrochus lateviridis 
Blackb' with more recent red labels 'Type' 
'Holotype T- 13211 Hydrochus lateviridis 
Blackburn, 1896', NMV. 

Description (number of specimens examined, 
290) Figs 9, 10,25-27 

Length 1.6 - 2.5mm. Broadly elongate, 
pronotum narrowed quite strongly behind, elytra 
quite strongly widened behind middle, rapidly 
narrowing to tip. Head black to golden, iridescent; 
pronotum dark brown to golden iridescent, front 
and rear margins occasionally narrowly 
testaceous; elytra dark brown, or steely grey, or 
silvery/golden, elytral dark spots often well 
marked, often extensive (Figs 9,10); ventral 
surface dark brown to black, legs yellow or light 
testaceous, usually lacking darker areas on knees 
or femora. Head granulate/punctate, epicranial 



suture weakly impressed. Pronotum rather evenly 
and smoothly covered in small to moderately 
sized punctures, moderately rugose. Elytra with 
small to medium sized punctures, distance 
between punctures often less than the width of 
interstriae, interstriae not or only very weakly 
raised; plica distinct; apical punctures small, may 
be weakly granulate. Setae on head and elytra 
virtually absent. Pronotal epipleuron well marked, 
two to three puncture widths deep, smooth with 
some large punctures. Elytral pseudoepipleura 
weak to moderate, epipleura absent behind, 
widening to about same width or a bit more than 
pseudoepipleura in front third. Front of 
mesosternum in centre with two longitudinal 
carinae, area between them shallow behind. 
Profemur elongate, narrowing toward base; 
basally pubescence weak, reduced to narrow band 
ventrally. Mesofemur strongly spindle-shaped, 
reducing to half or less its maximum width 
basally, basal pubescence very weak, reduced to 
narrow band ventrally. Metafemur spindle-shaped, 
narrowing to about half its greatest width basally. 
Male: Basal piece of aedeagus straight sided 
to moderately twisted, 1.5 - 2.6 times length of 
apical piece. Apical piece bullet-shaped to 
elongate, occasionally twisted, base narrower 
than basal piece. Central lobe varying from 
relatively thin and parallel sided to quite strongly 
expanded apically, in both cases with a very thin 
apical piece which almost reaches tip, often 
bulging above parameres apically. The thin 
apical piece of the central lobe may be displaced 
laterally in strongly twisted or elongate forms 
(Figs 25-27). 

Distribution 

Northern Territory 

Adelaide River, ANIC; Barramundi Creek, 
Kakadu NP, SAMA; Deaf Adder Gorge, 
Kakadu NP, NTM; 14 km NW Cape Crawford, 
ANIC; Cooper Creek near Mt Borradaile, 
SAMA; Edith Falls near Katherine, CAL; Ellery 
Gorge, ANIC; Gubara, Kakadu NP, NHMW, 
CLH; 20 km SSW Jabiru, SAMA; Kongarra, 
NTM; 19 km E by S Mt Borradaile, NTM, 
ANIC; 6 km SE Mt Borradaile, SAMA; 6 km E 
Mt Cahill, ANIC; 8 km E Mt Cahill, ANIC; 19 
km WSW Mt Cahill, ANIC; 5 km SE Mt 
Borradaile Station, SAMA; 2 km N 
Mudginbarry Homestead, ANIC; 9 km SSE 
Mudginbarry Homestead, ANIC; 1 1 km S by W 
Nimbuwah Rock, ANIC, NTM; Nawurlandja, 
Kakadu NP, SAMA; 6 km SW by S Oenpelli, 



22 



C. H. S. WATTS 



ANIC; Roderick Creek, NTM; Simpsons Gap, 
SAMA; South Johnstone River, Kakadu NP, 
SAMA; UDP Falls, Kakadu NP, NTM; 
Woolwonga Fauna Reserve, ANIC; 16.07S 
130.25E, NTM. 

Queensland 

Borumba Dam, NHMW; Burdekin River, 
SAMA; Burdekin River E of Charters Towers, 
SAMA; 35 ml SE Burketown, UQIC; Cape 
Tribulation, DPIM; Dalrymple, NHMW; Funnel 
Creek, ANIC; 70 km SW Greenvale, SAMA; 
Hann River, NMV; Laura, DPIM; 73 km NW 
Laura, ANIC; 66 km NW Mt Isa, ANIC; 3 km 
ENE Mt Tozer, ANIC; Normanton, ANIC; 1 1 km 
NSW Petford, DPIM; 15 km WNW South 
Johnstone, DPIM; Windsor Table Land, DPIM. 

Western Australia 

Abydos, FIELD; Cadjeput Rockhole, WAM; 17 
km N by E Cane River Homestead, ANIC; 
Drysdale River, ANIC; 12 km S Kalumburu 
Mission, ANIC; 3 km NW by W Millstream, 
ANIC; 4 km S by W Mining Camp Mitchell 
Plateau, (14°52S 125°50E), ANIC; 5.5 km NW 
Mt Bell, WAM; West Peawah River, ANIC; 
Winjana Gorge, CAL.; 13 km ESE Wittenoom, 
ANIC; Synnot Creek, ANIC. 

Remarks 

Typical H. lateviridis have a large triangular 
dark patch just before the middle of the elytra 
which separates them from all other Australian 
Hydrochus (Figs 9,10). However this patch can be 
obscured in dark specimens and, particularly in 
Arnhem Land, can be reduced to a small area no 
larger than other patches on the elytra which then 
resembles the pattern in other species such as H. 
burdekinensis. Dark specimens of H. lateviridis 
can be confused with H. atratus, particularly the 
occasional specimen of H. atratus with yellow 
legs, but can be separated by their wider elytral 
epipleura, more spindle-shaped mesofemora, and 
better defined pronotal epipleura. All these 
characters are subjective and can only really be 
appreciated when directly comparing specimens. 
The genitalia can be very similar but in H. atratus 
(Fig. 19) the apical piece is more triangular and 
with a narrower central lobe than in H. lateviridis. 
In some H. atratus (if the specimens from 
Kunmunya are included in that species) (Figs 25- 
27) the apical piece is very like the short narrow 
form of H. lateviridis (Fig. 26) but is more 
waisted and the central lobe not bulbous as in 
typical H. lateviridis. 



Darker specimens of H. burdekinensis, and H. 
lateviridis with poorly developed colour patterns, 
resemble each other. In most cases the more 
spindle-shaped mesofemora of H. lateviridis will 
separate them. Their aedeagi are relatively 
similar and the large degree of variation makes it 
difficult to reliably separate them on this 
character alone. 

There are four rather distinctive forms of the 
aedeagus within the species as I interpret it. 

The first form has a squat, bullet-shaped apical 
piece with a broad, bulbous central lobe with a 
weak, hard to see, apical spine (Fig. 25). It 
appears to be a more inland form and is the only 
one present in the type locality in Central 
Australia. 

The second form has a short, thin apical piece 
with a narrow almost parallel sided central lobe 
(Fig. 26). It is more coastal in distribution. 

The third form is similar to the second but has 
the apical piece strongly skewed, and the thin 
portion at the tip of the central lobe can appear 
twisted out of position. The few specimens known 
are from the Hann River/Iron Range area of Cape 
York. 

The fourth form has a longer more elongate 
apical piece with a correspondingly long thin 
central lobe, the terminal piece of which is bent at 
right angles in the four known specimens, 
presumably a post-mortem effect (Fig. 27). The 
specimens are from Cooktown, Hann River, 
Wenlock River and Archer River all on Cape 
York. 

The first two forms are relatively common and 
widespread, occurring together in the same 
population at several locations (e.g. Greenvale and 
Kakadu). Although most specimens are clearly 
one or the other form enough intermediates exist 
for me to hesitate to consider them separate 
species. 

Forms three and four are known from only a 
few specimens from a relatively restricted area 
of Cape York and are the only representatives 
of the species in the region so far collected. A 
few specimens from further south show a 
tendency to have a skewed apical piece to their 
aedeagi. Many more examples of H. lateviridis 
from Cape York will need to be examined 
before a better interpretation of these forms can 
be made. 

Biology 

Found in sand and gravel at the edges of rivers 
or in sandy pools in the beds of drying rivers. 
Taken at light. 



AUSTRALIAN HYDROCHUS 



23 














:i>> 




FIGURES 23-33. 23, H. cucullatus; 24, H. burdekinensis; 25-27, forms of H. lateviridis; 28, H. simplicicollis; 
29, H. obsoletus; 30, H. numerosepunctatus; 31-33, forms of H. obscuroaeneus. 



24 



C. H. S. WATTS 



Hydrochus macroaquilonius sp.nov. 

Types 

Holotype: male, 'NT Magela ck Kakadu NP 
19.3.98 C.H.S. Watts', SAMA. 

Paratopes: 5, same data as holotype, SAMA; 
2, '12°57S 132°33E Jim Jim Creek, N.T. 19 km 
WSW of Mt Cahill 24.X.72, E.B. Britton', ANIC; 
2, '12°40S 132°54E Magela Creek, N.T. 9 km 
SSE of Mudginbarry HS, 6.xi, 72, at light, E. 
Britton', ANIC. 

Description (number of specimens examined, 47) 
Fig. 15 

Length 3.2 - 4.1mm. Elongate, elytra widest 
slightly behind middle, narrowing quite rapidly 
to apex which is moderately truncate. Head dark 
brown-black with metallic sheen; pronotum dark 
brown/steely grey; elytra dark brown/steely grey/ 
golden with dark spots which are masked in 
darker forms; ventral surface dark brown-black, 
legs testaceous, knees and base of femora often 
darker. Head quite densely but smoothly 
granulate/punctate, epicranial suture weak. 
Pronotum rugose/punctate, punctures relatively 
small and dense, foveae weak. Elytral punctures 
moderate, separated within striae by about width 
of interstriae, interstriae four and eight often 
weakly raised, plica present. Head and elytra 
virtually without setae. Pronotal epipleuron ill 
defined, one to two puncture widths wide, may 
be weakly fluted. Elytral pseudoepipleuron 
moderate, epipleuron absent apically, increasing 
towards middle and front where it reaches about 
same width as pseudoepipleuron. Front of 
mesosternum in middle with two longitudinal 
carinae, area between them often shallow. 
Profemur elongate, basal pubescence weak, 
reduced to narrow band ventrally. Mesofemur 
elongate, spindle shaped, towards base less than 
half its greatest width, basal pubescence 
moderate, reaching to about quarter width of 
femur beyond trochanter on rear edge. 
Metafemur elongate, weakly bowed on front 
edge. 

Male: Basal piece of aedeagus parallel sided, 
2.0 - 2.1 times length of apical portion. Apical 
piece elongate, narrow. Central lobe narrow, 
almost as long as parameres (Fig. 15). 

Distribution 

Northern Territory 

Barramundi Creek, Kakadu NP, CLH, NHMW; 
Gungural Lookout, Kakadu NP, NHMW; 20 km 
SSW Jabiru, SAMA; Jim Jim Creek, Kakadu NP, 



ANIC; Magela Creek, Kakadu NP, SAMA; 30 km 
WSW Mt Cahill, ANIC; 8 km E Mt Cahill, ANIC; 
9 km SSE Mudginbarry Homestead, Kakadu NP, 
ANIC; South Johnstone River, Old Jim Jim Road 
Crossing, Kakadu NP, SAMA. 

Queensland 

3 km W by S Black Mountain, ANIC; 20 km S 
Bloomfield, SAMA; Captain Billy Creek, SAMA; 
Coen, UQIC; Helenvale, SAMA; 7 km N of Hope 
Vale Mission, ANIC; Iron Range, DPIM; 73 km 
NW by W Laura, ANIC; Palm Creek, DPIM; 
Peach Creek, SAMA; Mcllwraith Ranges Weather 
Station, SAMA; 9 km ENE Mt Tozer, ANIC; 1 1 
km ENE Mt Tozer, ANIC; 3 km ENE Mt Tozer, 
ANIC; 1 km N Rounded Hill, ANIC; 5 km W by 
N Rounded Hill, ANIC. 

Western Australia 

8 km SW by W Cane River Homestead, ANIC; 
Gascoyne River, SAMA; 23 ml N Mundiwindi, 
WAM. 

Remarks 

One of the largest Australian Hydrochus, H. 
macroaquilonius is close to H. interioris. It differs 
in its larger size, lack of granules, somewhat more 
extensive basal pubescence on the mesofemur 
with the pubescence reaching beyond the hind 
edge of the trochanter even in the middle of the 
femur. In H. interioris it is seldom as well 
developed. The aedeagus resembles that seen in 
some of the highly granulate eastern specimens of 
H. interioris but has the central lobe a bit broader 
and longer than most of these. The epipleura also 
tend to be broader than in the majority of H. 
interioris. Most specimens have the legs with a 
much lesser extent of dark colour than in H. 
interioris and in a few specimens the legs are 
uniformly testaceous. The bright golden dorsal 
surface seems a rarity in this species, most 
specimens being a rather dull grey with the spots 
only vaguely visible. In general appearance it 
resembles H. imamkhani another large species 
with elytral spots, and sympatric with it. The 
structure of the front of the mesosternum will 
readily separate these two species. 

Biology 

Found among sand and gravel at the edges of 
rivers and small creeks. Taken at light. 

Etymology 

Latin. 'Large', 'northern' - a reference to its 
size and locality. 



AUSTRALIAN HYDROCHUS 



25 



Hydrochus obsoletus Lea 

Hydrochus obsoletus Lea, 1 926 

Type 

Holotype: female 'obsoletus Lea TYPE 
Albury\SAMA 

Description (number of specimens examined, 
170) Fig. 29 

Length 2.0 - 3.4rnm. Broadly elongate, 
widest just behind middle of elytra. Head black 
or golden, weakly iridescent; pronotum 
testaceous to dark testaceous with green tinges, 
front and/or rear margins sometimes narrowly 
testaceous, or golden, or all black; elytra light 
testaceous with vague similar sized darker 
spots, or shiny silver grey with darker spots, or 
shiny golden with dark spots, or shiny black; 
ventral surface black, legs light testaceous with 
tips of tarsi, and occasionally base of femora 
diffusely darker. Head smooth, sparsely covered 
with small moderate punctures, frons area often 
granulate, epicranial suture weak. Pronotum 
smooth, rather sparsely covered with moderate 
punctures to rugose and closely punctured. 
Elytra with small to moderate punctures, 
separated within striae by the width or less of 
the adjacent interstriae, sometimes weakly 
granulated at sides and rear; interstriae not or 
only weakly raised - if so then interstria four is 
most prominent; plica weak to moderate. Dorsal 
setae absent. Pronotal epipleuron well marked, 
shiny, two to three puncture widths deep. Front 
of mesostemum in middle with two longitudinal 
carinae, area between them shallower behind. 
Pseudoepipleuron relatively broad, epipleuron 
absent behind, narrow in middle, widening to 
a bit less than width of pseudoepipleuron in 
front third. Profemur quite stout; basal 
pubescence weak, reduced to a narrow band 
ventrally. Mesofemur relatively stout for group 
2 species, narrowing to about two thirds its 
greatest width basally, basal pubescence weak 
to moderate, reduced to narrow band about a 
quarter width of base of femur or less, 
ventrally. Metafemur a bit larger but similar in 
shape to mesofemur. 

Male: Basal piece of aedeagus narrowing 
weakly toward base, 1.5 - 2.0 times length of 
apical piece. Apical piece narrowly bullet-shaped 
to triangular with suggestion of subapical 
constriction. Central lobe relatively narrow, 
weakly bulbous in its central portion, a bit shorter 
than parameres (Fig. 29). 



Distribution 

Australian Capital Territory 

Black Mountain, ANIC; Canberra, SAMA; 30 
km SW Canberra, SAMA; Kambah Pool, ANIC, 
SAMA. 

New South Wales 

Armadale, SAMA; Bombala, SAMA; Boonoo 
Boonoo River, UQIC; Cabbage Tree Creek near 
Nelligen, SAMA; Clarence River, NMV; Cooma, 
SAMA; Gilgandra, SAMA; Jenolan Caves, 
SAMA; 6 km N Uralla, ANIC; Valery, ANIC; 
Quaama, SAMA. 

Queensland 

Bowen, SAMA; 15 km W Gympie, NMV; 
Kenilworth State Forest, UQIC; 10 km W Imbil, 

NMV. 

South Australia 

Cudlee Creek, SAMA; Torrens Gorge, SAMA. 

Victoria 

11.5 km NNW Ballan, ANIC; Benong, CAL; 
3.8 km WNW Blackwood, ANIC; Deddick River, 
NMV; 4.5 km SW Healesville FIELD; 4 km SW 
Healesville, NMV; Omeo, SAMA; 30 km N 
Orbost, SAMA; Stratford, SAMA.; Tambo 
Crossing, Jordan River, NMV. 

Remarks 

A southern species readily recognised from 
other southern species by its yellow spindly legs 
and coloured and spotted elytra. It resembles H. 
burdekinensis in general shape and colour but can 
be separated from this species by its similarly 
shaped meso and meta femora unlike H. 
burdekinensis which has the mesofemora more 
spindle-shaped. Although some H. obsoletus and 
some H. burdekinensis have identical dorsal 
colouring, apart from one specimen of H. 
obsoletus from Gilgandra, in SAMA, with a 
testaceous ventral surface, H. obsoletus always 
has a black, or very dark, ventral surface, whereas 
in most H. burdekinensis it is a much lighter 
testaceous colour. The aedeagi of both species are 
quite similar but in H. obsoletus the apical piece 
is comparatively longer (1.5 - 2.0 times the length 
of the basal piece) and the paramere tips a bit 
wider. 

Hydrochus obsoletus closely resembles H. 
simplicicollis and can only be reliably separated 
by its aedeagus which has a relatively shorter 
apical piece compared to H. simplicicollis (Figs 
28, 29). Future study, particularly of specimens 



26 



C. H. S. WATTS 



from coastal Queensland, may well show these 
two species to be conspecific. 

Biology 

All specimens of this species that I have 
collected have been taken from among gravel at 
the edge of relatively large streams/rivers. 



Hydrochus simplicicollis Lea 

Hydrochus simplicicollis Lea, 1926 

= Hydrochus verae Makhan, 1995; syn. nov. 

Types 

Hydrochus simplicicollis Lea. Lectotype: 
'simplicicollis Lea TYPE Cairns' left hand 
specimen of two on same card with 'TY' below, 
SAMA. Herein designated. 

Paralectotypes: 1, same data as holotype, 
SAMA; 1, "Vicinity of Jenolan Caves (J.C. 
Wiburd)' 'Co-type' 'Griffith Collection Id. by 
A.M. Lea', SAMA. Herein designated. This 
specimen is labelled as a co-type but not by Lea. 
In the original description it is mentioned by Lea 
as 'probably belongs to the species'. Its 
paralectotype status is doubtful. This specimen 
belongs to H. obsoletus. 

Hydrochus verae Makhan. Holotype: 
'Australien QL (10,11) Dalrymple 300 m, 30 km 
N. Charters Towers 18.1.1993 leg Wewalka' 
'Hydrochus verae det. D. Makhan 1994' with red 
Holotype label, NHMW. 

Paratypes: 7, same data as holotype with 
yellow paratype labels, NHMW. (The paratype 
series includes three species; four are conspecific 
with the holotype, two are H. lateviridis and one 
is H. atratus). 

Description (number of dissected males 
examined, 14) Fig. 28 

Length 2.0 - 2.4mm. Broadly oval, widest 
just behind middle of elytra. Head black, often 
with greenish tinges; pronotum shiny dark 
brown, front and rear edges often narrowly 
testaceous; elytra light to dark testaceous, 
sometimes with vague darker spots 
approximately equal in size, or grey/black, or 
black; ventral surface dark brown to black, legs 
light testaceous, apical portion of tarsi maybe 
darker. Head smooth with sparse moderate 
punctures, occasionally with squat granules, 
epicranial suture weak. Pronotum smooth to 
rugose, punctures moderate sized, usually rather 



sparse. Elytra with small, moderate sized 
punctures, punctures separated by less than the 
width of interstriae in all but a few cases; 
interstriae not, or only very weakly raised; plica 
weakly distinct. Dorsal surface without setae. 
Pronotal epipleuron well differentiated, shiny, 
about three puncture widths deep. 
Pseudoepipleuron of elytra moderate, 
epipleuron absent behind, narrow in middle, 
increasing to about same width as 
pseudoepipleuron in anterior third. Front of 
mesosternum in middle with two longitudinal 
carinae, area between them shallower behind. 
Profemur relatively stout; basal pubescence 
moderate, reduced to a band about a quarter the 
width of the femur at that point or less 
ventrally. Mesofemur moderately spindle- 
shaped, narrowing basally to between a third to 
a half its greatest width; basal pubescence weak 
to moderate, reduced to a narrow band about a 
quarter of the width of the femur or less 
ventrally. Metafemur a little larger but 
approximately the same shape as mesofemur. 

Male: Basal piece of aedeagus wide, narrowing 
a bit towards base, 1.0- 1 .4 times length of apical 
piece. Apical piece elongate, narrow. Central lobe 
rather narrow, weakly bulbous in its central 
portion, as long as parameres (Fig. 28). 

Distribution 

Queensland 

Cairns, SAMA; Dalrymple, 30 km N Charters 
Towers, NHMW; 70 km SW Greenvale, SAMA; 
15 km WNW South Johnstone, DPIM; Windsor 
Tableland, DPIM. 

Western Australia 

3 ml E Pago Mission, FIELD. 

Remarks 

Like the related species, H. obsoletus, H. 
lateviridis and H. burdekinensis, H. simplicicollis 
has a range of dorsal colours but in all known 
specimens the pronotum is dark, apart from front 
and rear margins in some, and the ventral surface 
black or almost so and, when present, the elytral 
spots are roughly equal in size. Although most 
specimens have small elytral punctures and wide 
interstriae, in some specimens the punctures are 
larger with the interstriae narrow and equal in width 
to the area separating punctures within a stria. 
Compared to H. burdekinensis and H. lateviridis, 
the mesofemora are relatively stout and roughly 
similar in shape to the metafemora. On average the 
elytral epipleura seem a bit wider than in related 



AUSTRALIAN HYDROCHUS 



27 



species but this difference is difficult to quantify. 
Males have longer and narrower apical pieces to 
their aedeagi than those of H. burdekinensis (Fig. 
24) or H. lateviridis (Figs 25-27). 

The species can only be separated from the 
southern H. obsoletus by the aedeagus which, in 
H. obsoletus (Fig. 29), has the apical piece 
comparatively shorter and broader and the central 
lobe is shorter and does not reach to the ends of 
the parameres. It is possible that the collection of 
specimens from the intermediate geographic areas 
could show them to be conspecific. 

Hydrochus verae Makhan belongs to this 
species, although three of the seven paratypes do 
not. The specimens mentioned by Lea (1926) 
from Jenolan NSW and Bowen Qld are H. 
obsoletus. 

Biology 

No habitat notes are available although the 
general localities suggest that it lives at the edge 
of sandy/gravelly rivers as do related species. 



Species Group 3 

Group 3 species are characterised by having: 
two rather than three longitudinal carinae at the 
front of the mesosternum; stout, almost 
cylindrical legs, with the basal pubescence on 
the profemora interrupted ventrally or reduced to 
a very narrow band (Fig. 3). Other character 
states that tend to define the group are: elytral 
interstriae, particularly the alternative ones, 
usually raised and the plica absorbed into 
interstria eight; pronotal foveae weakly to 
moderately developed and their edges often 
glabrous; pronotal epipleura moderately wide but 
ill-defined; head with a deep epicranial suture; 
dorsal setae often strong; basal pubescence on 
the mesofemora seldom reaches beyond the apex 
of the trochanter (Fig. 3). 

Group 3 species are generally relatively small 
and chunky, although H. numerosepunctatus is 
among the largest of Australian Hydrochus. One 
species, H. obscuroaeneus, is extremely common 
across Northern Australia. The species are 
primarily inhabitants of smaller, often 
intermittent, streams where they live among 
stones and detritus at the edges. Two species 
appear to be at least partially terrestrial, having 
been collected from wet forest litter. 

Hydrochus chitraae Makhan, 1994 and H. 
chitaniei Makhan, 1994, described from New 
Guinea, belong in this group. 



Hydrochus gitaraiae Makhan 
Hydrochus gitaraiae Makhan, 1 994 

Types 

Holotype: male, 'New Guinea Neth Mol 
Maffen, 22 km E of Sarmi July 18, 1959' 'm.v. 
light trap Maa' 'Hydrochus gitaraiae det D. 
Makhan 1994', BPBM. 

Paratype: same data as holotype. In Hungarian 
National Museum, Budapest. Not seen. 

Description (number of dissected males 
examined, 5) Fig. 34 

Length 1.8 - 2.3mm. Elongate-oval. Head shiny 
black; pronotum shiny dark brown to black; elytra 
shiny black; ventral surface dark-brown to black, 
legs dark testaceous, parts of tarsi, knees and 
much of femora darker. Head with scattered large 
punctures, frons weakly granulate, epicranial 
suture well marked. Pronotum with rather sparse 
large punctures, with bare areas in between, 
foveae obsolete. Elytra with rather even sized well 
marked punctures not or only slightly increasing 
in size towards middle within striae. Alternate 
interstriae weakly raised towards apex, interstriae 
eight weakly raised, incorporating plica. Pronotal 
epipleuron weakly delineated, narrow, about a 
puncture width wide, almost completely or 
partially absent in some. Pseudoepipleuron narrow 
posteriorly moderate anteriorly, elytral epipleuron 
absent behind, narrow in front. Profemur stout, 
basal pubescence weak, absent ventrally. 
Mesofemur relatively stout, weakly narrowing 
towards base, basal pubescence reaching to about 
end of trochanter on posterior margin. Metafemur 
moderately stout. Setae on head and basal half of 
elytra moderate to strong, weak to moderate on 
pronotum. Front of mesosternum in middle with 
two subparallel raised carinae, area between them 
moderately deep. 

Male: Basal piece of aedeagus broad, weakly 
narrowing toward base, 1.2 - 1.5 times length of 
apical piece. Parameres broad at base, weakly 
constricted a bit before tip, tip relatively broad, 
diagonally truncated. Central lobe moderate, 
nearly as long as parameres (Fig. 34). 

Distribution 

Northern Territory 

Muirella Park, Kakadu NP, DPIM. 

Queensland 

29 km S Bamaga, ANIC, SAMA; 9 km ENE 
Mt Tozer, ANIC. 



28 



C. H. S. WATTS 



Remarks 

This seemingly rare northern species is the 
smallest group 3 species yet known (<2.5mm). 
Apart from its small size it differs from other 
group 3 species by its weak or, in some cases, 
virtually absent, pronotal epipleura, and the wide 
obliquely truncated tip to the parameres (Fig. 34). 
Among group 3 species, it shares with H. horni 
the relatively uniformly- sized elytral punctures, 
strongly developed setae on the head and elytra 
and bare shiny areas on the pronotum. Also occurs 
in New Guinea. 

Biology 

Nothing known. 



Hydrochus granicoltts Lea 

Hydrochus granicollis Lea, 1926. 

Types 

Lectotype: female 'granicollis Lea TYPE 
Wahroonga', SAMA. Herein designated. 

Paralectotypes: 2, 'Wahroonga H.J.C.1.24' 
'Co-type' 'Griffith Collection id. by A.M. Lea', 
SAMA. Herein designated. 

Description (number of specimens examined, 22) 
Fig. 37 

Length 2.0 - 2.6mm. Relatively broad, elytra 
widest behind middle. Head shiny black; 
pronotum and elytra shiny dark brown to black; 
ventral surface dark brown, legs testaceous. Head 
rather smoothly granulate/punctate, epicranial 
suture well marked. Pronotum strongly granulate/ 
punctate, foveae weak not bounded by raised 
carinae. Elytra with moderate sized well 
impressed punctures, those in any one stria of 
similar size apart from extreme base and apex, 
adjacent punctures in different striae same size; 
alternate interstriae moderate to quite strongly 
raised, some lateral interstriae may be granulate; 
plica absorbed into interstria eight; apical 
punctures usually strong, apex rounded. Pronotal 
epipleuron moderate, about two puncture widths 
wide. Pseudoepipleuron wide, elytral epipleuron 
absent behind, narrow in front. Setae weakly 
developed on head and at base of elytra. Front of 
mesosternum in middle with two subparallel 
raised carinae, area between them moderately 
deep. Profemur stout, basal pubescence weak, 
absent or very narrow ventrally. Mesofemur 
relatively stout weakly narrowed towards base, 
basal pubescence moderately developed, reaching 



a little past end of trochanter on hind margin. 
Profemur moderately bowed on front edge. 

Male: Basal piece of aedeagus parallel sided, 
1.3 - 1.4 times length of apical piece. Parameres 
weakly bulbous in basal half, twisted open in 
front half to cradle central lobe, narrowing 
towards tip. Central lobe moderately wide, 
narrowing in front (Fig. 37). 

Distribution 

Australian Capital Territory 

Black Mountain, ANIC; Cotter River, ANIC; 
Kambah Pool, ANIC. 

New South Wales 

Cabbage Tree Creek, ANIC; Hawksbury River, 
SAMA; Kiola Forest Park, 15 ml N Batemans 
Bay, ANIC. 

Remarks 

A southern species known only from a limited 
area of the South-east, H. granicollis resembles 
H. horni in general appearance and in its relatively 
even-sized elytral punctures. In general it is a 
chunkier species with more strongly developed 
dorsal sculpture but much more poorly developed 
setae. The apex of the elytra is rounded rather 
than pinched as is often the case in H. horni and 
the apical punctures are usually very large in 
contrast to the small to moderately sized ones in 
H. horni. 

Biology 

Found among stones and leaves at the edges of 
running water. The specimens from Kiola are 
labelled as coming from wet sclerophyll litter. 



Hydrochus horni Blackburn 

Hydrochus horni Blackburn, 1896 

= H. scabricollis Lea, 1926; syn. nov. 

Types 

Hydrochus horni Blackburn. Lectotype: 'Type' 
'T 5488 Paisl. Bl.' 'Australia Blackburn Coll BM. 
1910-236' ' Hydrochus interioris Blackb.' 
'Hydrochus horni Blackb. Type fide Lea TRSSA 
1926- 147 Balfour Browne det', BMNH. Herein 
designated. 

Paralectotypes: 1, 'Cent-Aust Coll Horn Exp 
Pres 7.97' 'Hydrochus Horni, Blackb.' with more 
recent red labels' 'Type' 'Syntype T-13197 
Hydrochus horni Blackburn 1896', NMV. This 



AUSTRALIAN HYDROCHUS 



29 



specimen cannot be considered the holotype since 
the BMNH specimen was clearly marked T by 
Blackburn; 1, 'Paisley Bluff Cent Aust Horn. 
Exp' 'Hydrochus horni Blk. del. by Blkb.' 
'F.E.Wilson Collection' with more recent blue 
labels '2295 Cotype' 'Paratype T2295 Hydrochus 
horni Black.', NMV; 1, '5488 Paisley B.' 
'Hydrochus interioris, Blackb. Co-type', SAMA; 
2, '5488 Paisl Bluff 'interioris Blackb.' 'this is 
horni BF, SAMA. Herein designated. I agree with 
Lea (1926) that the BMNH and SAMA specimens 
are H. horni and were mislabelled by Blackburn. 

Hydrochus scabricollis Lea. Lectotype: 
'Scabricollis Lea TYPE Parachilna', SAMA." The 
left hand specimen above V TY~ of four specimens 
on one card herein designated. 

Paralectotypes: 3, same data as holotype, 
SAMA; 1, 'S. Australia' 'A.H. Elston Collection' 
'2625 Hydrochus scabricollis Lea Co-type S. 
Australia' 'Paratype', AM; 5, 'Co-Type' 
'Parachilna Hale Flinders Range' 'Griffith 
Collection id by A.M. Lea', SAMA; 1, 'Co-Type' 
"Lucindale S. Australia', SAMA.; 2, 'Lucindale S 
Australia' 'Hydrochus scabricollis' 'Co-type 
2795' 'Lea, Co-type', QM. Herein designated. 

In NMV there are additional specimens 
obviously collected and labelled at the same time 
as the specimens later labelled as co-types. I am 
unaware of why some have been labelled as co- 
types and others not. The SAMA paralectotypes 
were labelled co-types by Blackburn, albeit 
incorrectly. 

Description (number of specimens examined, 
193) Figs 35, 36 

Length 2.0 - 3.4mm. Elongate, elytra a little 
wider behind middle. Head shiny black; 
pronotum and elytra shiny dark brown to black; 
ventral surface dark brown, legs dark 
testaceous, parts of tarsi, knees and much of 
femora darker. Head granulate/punctate. 
Pronotum granulate/punctate varying from quite 
strongly and evenly rugose to relatively smooth 
with large areas bare of sculpture, foveae weak, 
often bounded by flat broad smooth areas. 
Elytral punctures well marked, not or only 
slightly increasing in size beyond the first few 
basal punctures. Punctures in adjacent striae 
similar sized, lateral interstriae occasionally 
granulate, interstriae not or only weakly raised 
particularly alternate interstriae toward apex, 
plica absorbed into interstria eight. Setae on 
head moderate to strong often present on 
pronotum as well, much of elytra setose. 
Pronotal epipleuron weak to moderate, 0.5 to 



1.5 puncture widths wide, often poorly 
delineated. Pseudoepipleuron weak to 
moderate, elytral epipleuron absent behind, 
narrow in front. Front of mesosternum in 
middle with two weakly diverging longitudinal 
carinae, area between them moderately deep in 
front becoming very shallow behind. Profemur 
stout, basal pubescence weak to absent or 
virtually so ventrally. Mesofemur relatively 
stout to moderately elongate, narrowing towards 
base, basal pubescence moderate reaching end 
of trochanter or a bit past it on hind edge. 

Male: Basal piece of aedeagus parallel sided or 
weakly constricted in middle, 1.6 - 2.0 times 
length of apical piece. Apical piece ranging from 
strongly dolphin-headed to almost smoothly 
triangular. Central lobe narrow reaching almost to 
tip of parameres (Figs 35, 36). 

Distribution 

Australian Capital Territory 

25 km W Canberra, ANIC. 

New South Wales 

8 km N Bombala, SAMA; Kittys Crossing, 
ANIC; Monga, ANIC; Nerrigan, SAMA; Webers 
Creek, SAMA. 

Northern Territory 

33 km WNW Alice Springs, ANIC; Ellery 
Creek, NMV, SAMA; Ormiston Gorge, SAMA; 
Paisley Bluff, NMV; Simpsons Gap, SAMA; 
Standley Chasm, ANIC, SAMA: Vaughan 
Springs, SAMA. 

Queensland 

8 km N Bluewater, SAMA; Mary Creek 16°33S 
145°12.5E, ANIC; Pentland, ANIC. 

South Australia 

Alligator Gorge, SAMA; Flinders Ranges, 
SAMA; Lucindale, QM; Mt Gambier, SAMA; 13 
km W Meadows, SAMA; 1 km S Nangwarry, 
SAMA; Robe, SAMA; Williamstown, ANIC, 
SAMA. 

Tasmania 

8 km S Lake Leake, ANIC 

Victoria 

East Pomborneit, ANIC; Nathatia, SAMA; 4 
km NNE Nelson, NMV; 5 km NW Portland, 
SAMA; Strathbogie, NMV; Tarra Valley, NMV; 
6 km ENE Terang ANIC; 12 km SW Orbost, 
SAMA. 



30 



C. H. S. WATTS 



Western Australia 

1 1 km E Ashburton Downs Homestead, WAM; 
Gill Pinnacle, WAM; 50 ml S Giles, WAM; 
Millstream, ANIC; 13 km ESE Mooka Station, 
WAM; 20 km NE Mt Sandiman, WAM; 
Murchison River, ANIC. 

Remarks 

Hydrochus horni is the southern counterpart of 
H. obscuroaeneus, occurring relatively commonly 
across southern Australia including semi-arid 
regions such as the Pilbara, Central Australia and 
the Flinders Ranges as well as more coastal regions 
of the South-east. It is also found, rarely, in 
Queensland as far north as the Atherton Tableland. 
It can be separated from H. obscuroaeneus by the 
more usually sized elytral punctures which, beyond 
the basal four to five, are subequal in size until 
nearing the elytron apex. Its clearest distinguishing 
character is the bare shiny areas on the pronotum 
of most specimens. (These are often absent on 
central Australian specimens.) Among group 3 
species it tends to have the most elongate 
mesofemora with the greatest development of the 
basal pubescence. Both these characters 
occasionally approach the condition seen in some 
group 4 species. The weak basal pubescence on the 
profemur, the generally less elongate body, and 
strong development of dorsal setae separate it from 
any species in group 4. 

Hydrochus granicollis resembles H. horni in 
many respects and is also sympatric with it in 
south-eastern Australia. Hydrochus granicollis 
tends to be a chunkier species, with a granulate 
pronotum without bare areas, has the apical 
punctures on the elytra often much larger than in 
H. horni and a more rounded apex to the elytra 
which often appears pinched in H. horni. The 
aedeagus of H. horni resembles that of H. 
obscuroaeneus with which it is sympatric in north 
Queensland. The two can be separated by the 
relatively smaller apical piece in H. horni (basal 
piece 1.6 - 2.0 times apical piece in length, in H. 
horni; 1.0 — 1.3 times in H. obscuroaeneus). 
Within H. horni there is a considerable degree of 
variation in the shape of the apical piece, although 
its comparatively short nature remains. In typical 
H. horni from central Australia the apical piece is 
particularly short and squat generally resembling 
the head of a dolphin. In other locations this shape 
is still present but other specimens tend to have 
the apical piece more elongated which has the 
effect of obliterating the dolphin-head shape and 
replacing it with the more usual triangular one in 
extreme cases. All intermediate shapes occur. 



Hydrochus gitaraiae from Cape York and 
Arnhem Land closely resembles H. horni, 
particularly in the typical bare shiny areas on 
the pronotum, but is smaller and has a broader, 
differently shaped apical piece to the 
aedeagus. 

Biology 

Found at the edges of small rivers, creeks and 
ponds among stones and detritus. 



Hydrochus numerosepunctatus sp. nov. 

Types 

Holotype: male, 'NT 1 km W Gubara Kakadu 
NP 17.3.98 C.H.S. Watts', SAMA. 

Paratypes: 1 8, same data as holotype, SAMA; 
10, 'AUSTRALIA: N.T. Kakadu NP Gubara 50 
m. 25.10.1996 leg. L. Hendrich (1)', NHMW. 

Description (number of specimens examined, 62) 
Fig. 30 

Length 2.7 - 4.2mm. Elongate, elytra widest 
behind middle, quite rapidly narrowing to apex. 
Head shiny black, pronotum and elytra shiny dark 
brown to black; ventral surface dark red to black, 
legs testaceous, parts of tarsi, knees and much of 
femora darker. Head granulate/punctate, epicranial 
suture moderately impressed. Pronotum rugose, 
densely granulate/punctate, foveae weak to 
virtually absent. Elytra very deeply punctate, 
interstriae granulate to varying degrees, punctures 
in each stria increase in size toward middle from 
base and apex, punctures in adjacent stria same 
size or slightly larger from stria one to four. 
Alternate interstriae not or only weakly raised 
particularly toward apex and interstria eight. Plica 
absorbed into interstria eight. Pronotal epipleuron 
well marked about two punctures deep, fluted. 
Pseudoepipleuron moderate, elytral epipleuron 
absent behind, narrow in front, virtually invisible 
when elytra closed. Setae weak to very weak on 
elytron apex. Profemur moderately stout, basal 
pubescence weak, absent or virtually absent 
ventrally. Mesofemur relatively stout, narrowing 
somewhat toward base, basal pubescence weak, 
reaching approximately the end of trochanter on 
rear edge. Metafemur relatively stout, bowed on 
front edge. Front of mesosternum in middle with 
two longitudinal carinae, area between them 
deep in front becoming shallow behind. 
Metasternum evenly covered with relatively 
small (for Hydrochus) punctures not arranged in 
any pattern. 



AUSTRALIAN HYDROCHUS 



31 











40 41 42 43 

FIGURES 34^14 34, H. gitaraiae; 35-36, forms of H. horni; 37, H. granicollis; 38, H. aschnakiranae; 39, H. 
kunarajahi; 40, H. multicolor; 41^12, forms of H. australis; 43, H. abditus; 44, //. radjiei. 



Male: Basal piece of aedeagus parallel sided 
1.2 - 1.6 times length of apical piece. Apical 
piece bullet shaped, parameres rather regularly 
narrowing toward pointed tip. Central lobe 
moderately broad reaching to tips of parameres 
(Fig. 30). 



Distribution 

Northern Territory 

Bamboo Creek near Wangi, NTM; Cooper 
Creek 19 km E by S Mt Borradaile, ANIC; 6 km 
SE Mt Borradaile, SAMA; 5 km SE Mt 



32 



C. H. S. WATTS 



Borradaile Station, SAMA; Gubara, Kakadu NP, 
NHMW, CLH, SAMA; 1 km S Gubara, Kakadu 
NP, SAMA; Holmes Jungle, NTM; 1 km S Jim 
Jim Falls, Kakadu NP, NHMW; Katherine Gorge, 
NTM; Koongarra, ANIC; Murganella, NTM; 6 
km SW by S Oenpelli, ANIC. 

Remarks 

One of the largest of Australian Hydrochus, 
H. numerosepunctatus appears to be relatively 
common in coastal Northern Territory. It shows, 
with H. obscuroaeneus, the character of 
increasing size of elytral punctures from the 
elytral base to the middle. The species can be 
separated from most H. obscuroaeneus by its 
generally larger size (2.7 - 4.2mm against 1.8 - 
3.0mm ), deep but not particularly large elytral 
punctures, lack of pronotal fovea and granulate 
elytra. The male genitalia resemble those of 
some H. obscuroaeneus but the apical piece is 
relatively smaller. The numerous, evenly 
distributed, metasternal punctures are unique 
within Australian Hydrochus, although 
occasional specimens of other species may 
approach the condition seen in H. 
numerosepunctatus. 

Biology 

Little known, but appears to be associated with 
small creeks. 

Etymology 

Latin, 'many punctured' - in reference to the 
numerous punctures on the mesothorax. 



Hydrochus obscuroaeneus Fairmaire 

Hydrochus obscuroaeneus Fairmaire, 1879 

= Hydrochus palmerstoni Blackburn, 1895; syn. 
nov. 

= Hydrochus insularis Lea, 1926; syn. nov. 

= Hydrochus rodjani Makhan, 1994; syn. nov. 

= Hydrochus wewalkai Makhan, 1994; syn. nov. 



Types 

Hydrochus obscuro-aeneus Fairmaire. 
Holotype: not located, type locality given as Pt. 
Makay (?= Mackay), Queensland. 

Hydrochus palmerstoni Blackburn. Holotype: 
female: 'T 3921 NT' 'Australia Blackburn Coll. 



B.M. 1910-236' 'Hydrochus Palmerstoni, 
Blackb.', BMNH. 

Hydrochus insularis Lea. Lectotype: male, 
'insularis Lea TYPE Groote Eyl.' 'Groote Eylandt 
N.B.Tindale', SAMA. Herein designated. 

Paralectotypes: 3, 'Groote Eylandt N.B. 
Tindale' 'Co-type' 'Griffith Collection Id by 
A.M.Lea', SAMA. Herein designated. 

Hydrochus rodjani Makhan. Holotype: 'New 
Guinea Papua Brown River May 21,1956' 'E.J. 
Ford jr. Light trap', BPBM. 

Hydrochus wewalkai Makhan. Holotype: male 
'Australien 17.1.1993 Queensland Townsville 
10m leg Wewalka (8)' 'Hydrochus wewalkai det 
D. Makhan 1994' with red Holotype label, 
NHMW. 

Description (number of specimens examined, 162 
dissected males) Figs 3, 31, 32, 33 

Length 1.8 - 3.0mm. Moderately elongate, a 
little wider behind middle of elytra, elytral apex 
not greatly 'pinched'. Head black; pronotum dark 
brown-black with metallic tinges, extreme front 
margin often lighter; elytra dark testaceous to 
black; ventral surface dark brown to black, 
antennae and palpi testaceous, palpi usually with 
darker tips; legs light testaceous, parts of tarsi and 
knees darker. Head moderately to strongly 
punctate/granulate, epicranial suture moderate. 
Pronotum strongly punctate/granulate, foveae 
weak-quite strong, occasionally delineated by 
narrow raised areas. Elytra strongly sculptured, 
punctures well marked, very variable in size, 
relatively small to very large, those in each stria 
increasing in size towards disc from both base 
and apex of elytra, adjacent punctures in different 
striae approximately same size, weakly to 
moderately granulate, alternate interstriae, 
particularly numbers 4, 6 and 8 weakly to 
moderately raised for most of their lengths, plica 
absorbed into interstria 8. Weak to moderate setae 
on head and apical half of elytra. Pronotal 
epipleuron distinct, about two puncture widths 
wide, fluted. Elytron with relatively narrow 
pseudoepipleuron, epipleuron absent behind, very 
narrow in front half. Front of mesosternum in 
centre with two narrow carinae, area between 
them moderately deep. Profemur stout, basal 
pubescence weak, lacking or virtually so ventrally 
(Fig. 3). Mesofemur moderately elongated, weakly 
sinuate, narrowing slightly towards base, basal 
pubescence moderately developed not, or only 
slightly, extending beyond trochanter on posterior 
edge (Fig. 3). Metafemur moderately sized, 
weakly bowed on front edge. 



AUSTRALIAN HYDROCHUS 



J3 



Male: Basal piece of aedeagus parallel sided or 
narrowing towards base 0.8 - 1.3 times length of 
apical piece; parameres variable from narrowly 
triangular to quite broad, waisted and with 
rounded tip, central lobe variable from narrow to 
broad, only slightly shorter than parameres. There 
is considerable variation in the degree of 
elongation of the apical piece resulting in a 
corresponding variation in degree of constriction 
of parameres, expansion of the central lobe, 
narrowness of the parameres and the comparative 
length of the basal and apical pieces (Figs 31, 32, 
33). 

Distribution 

Northern Territory 

1 km SE Batchelor, SAMA; Barramundi 
Creek, Kakadu NP, SAMA, CLH, NHMW; 
Berry Springs, ANIC; Bessie Springs, ANIC; 1 1 
km SW by S Borroloola, ANIC; 46 km SSW 
Borroloola, ANIC; 22 km WSW Borroloola, 
ANIC; 54 km S by W Borroloola, ANIC; 80 km 
SW Borroloola, ANIC; 5 km NNW Cahills 
Crossing, ANIC; 1 km N Cahills Crossing, 
ANIC; 8 km ESE Cape Crawford, ANIC; 
Coomalie Creek, CAL; Darwin, SAMA; Edith 
Falls near Katherine, CAL, ANIC; Gubara, 
Kakadu NP, NHMW, CLH, SAMA; 1 km W 
Gubara, Kakadu NP, SAMA; Gungurul Lookout, 
Kakadu NP, NHMW; Holmes Jungle, ANIC, 
SAMA; Howard Springs, NMV, ANIC, SAMA; 
Humpty Doo, DPIM; 10 km SW Jabiru, SAMA; 
12 km E Jabiru, SAMA; Jim Jim Falls, NHMW, 
CLH; Katherine, ANIC; Koongarra, ANIC; 
Litchfield NP, NHMW; Magela Creek, ANIC; 
Manton Dam, ANIC; 19 km E by S Mt 
Borradaile, ANIC; 6 km SE Mt Borradaile, 
SAMA; 5 km SE Mt Borradaile Station, SAMA; 
19 km E by N Mt Cahill, ANIC; 10 km E by N 
Mt Cahill, ANIC; 1 km NNW Mudginberry 
Homestead, ANIC; Naberlek Dam, ANIC; 
Nawurlandja, Kakadu NP, SAMA; Nourlangie 
Creek, ANIC; 18 km E by N Oenpelli, ANIC; 31 
km SE by S Pine Creek, ANIC; South Alligator 
River, ANIC; South Alligator Inn, ANIC; South 
Johnston River, Old Jim Jim Road Crossing, 
SAMA; Tindal, NMV; Wildman River Lagoon, 
ANIC. 

Queensland 

Archer River, SAMA; Bloomfield, ANIC; 
Boggy Creek near Cooktown, ANIC; Burdekin 
River near Charters Towers, SAMA; Captain Billy 
Creek, SAMA; Cairns, CAL; Cape Tribulation, 
ANIC; 30 ml N Cape Tribulation, ANIC; Coen, 



MCZ; 60 km S Coen, SAMA; 40 km N Coen, 
SAMA; 21 km W by N Cooktown, ANIC; 29 km 
NW by N Cooktown, ANIC; Dalhunty River, 
SAMA; Dalrymple, 30 km N Charters Towers, 
NHMW; Giru, ANIC; 10 km SW by W 
Gordonvale, ANIC; Greenvale, NHMW; 70 km 
SW Greenvale, SAMA; Hann River, NMV; 7 ml 
N Hope Vale Mission, ANIC; Iron Range, ANIC; 
7.5 km NNW Kuranda, DPIM, ANIC; Laura, 
DPIM; 73 km NW by W Laura, ANIC; 30 km N 
Laura, DPIM; 12 km N Laura, SAMA; 31 km 
NW by N Longreach, ANIC; 9.5 km SW 
Mareeba, DPIM; Mclllwraith Ranges., SAMA; 1 
km W Mingela, SAMA; 3.5 km SW by S Mt 
Baird, ANIC; Mt Garnet, SAMA; 40 ml SW Mt 
Garnet, CAL; 21 ml up Mt Lewis Road, DPIM; 
Mt Spec, ANIC; 1 1 km ENE Mt Tozer, ANIC; 2 
km N Mt Tozer, ANIC; 9 km ENE Mt Tozer, 
ANIC; 3 km NE Mt Webb, ANIC; Peach Creek, 
SAMA; 11 km WSW Petford, DPIM; 1 km W 
Petford, SAMA; Reid River E of Mingela, 
SAMA; Rockhampton, CLH; Shiptons Flat, 
ANIC; Silver Plains, MCZ; Tolga, DPIM; 
Towns ville, CAL, MCZ, NHMW; 10 km NW 
Townsville, SAMA; Thornton Range, ANIC; 
Walkamin, DPIM; Weipa, DPIM; 

Western Australia 

Carson Escarpment, ANIC; Drysdale River, 
ANIC; Gallery Hill, WAM; 14 km S by E 
Kalumburu Mission, ANIC; 4 km W King 
Cascade, ANIC; Millstream, ANIC; Mitchell 
Plateau, FIELD, ANIC; 3 ml SE Pago Mission, 
HELD; Prince Frederic Harbour, ANIC; 2 km SW 
Roily Hill, ANIC; Mitchell Plateau, ANIC; 
Synnot Creek, ANIC. 

Remarks 

A very common and widespread species in 
northern Australia. It shares, with H. 
numerosepunctatus, the character of the elytral 
punctures in at least the inner rows increasing in 
size until about the middle of the elytra. In other 
group 3 species (and most other Australian 
Hydrochus) the size of the elytral punctures 
increases rapidly from small to moderate within 
the basal one to four or five punctures and 
remaining approximately the same size until close 
to the apex. In H. obscuroaeneus the increase 
continues, albeit at a reduced rate well onto the 
elytral disc. The actual size of the elytral 
punctures is very variable from comparatively 
modest to extremely large. 

Hydrochus obscuroaeneus can be separated 
from H. numerosepunctatus by the latter's 



34 



C. H. S. WATTS 



unusual punctation of the mesosternum. Most 
specimens of H. numerosepunctatus are also 
larger (2.7 - 4.2mm) than H. obscuroaeneus (1.8 
- 3.0mm). 

Hydrochus obscuroaeneus is unusually variable 
in both size of elytral punctures and in the shape 
of the aedeagus. However, study of over a 
thousand specimens, 162 of which were males 
with their aedeagi extracted, has convinced me 
that only one species is involved. I could detect 
no strong pattern in either character, with 
extremes of both occurring throughout its 
geographic range, except possibly a 
preponderance of specimens with strong 
punctures and wide, waisted aedeagi ( Fig. 33) on 
Cape York. Nor is there any apparent linkage 
between puncture size and aedeagus shape. All 
intermediate shapes exist but the relatively weakly 
punctured elytra and thin elongate triangular- 
shaped aedeagi are by far the most common 
forms. 

I have been a unable to trace the holotype of H. 
obscuroaeneus and base my identification on the 
brief description; primarily its small size, 
nondescript colour, large elytral punctures and 
locality. 

The holotype of H. palmerstoni is a female and 
has moderately large elytral punctures; the 
lectotype of H. insularis has moderately sized 
elytral punctures and an aedeagus with a broad 
central lobe but the apical piece is not waisted 
(similar to Fig. 32); the holotype of H. wewalkai 
has slightly larger elytral punctures and a broad, 
weakly waisted, apical piece to the aedeagus. The 
holotype of H. rodjani is similar to that of H. 
insularis in elytral punctation and aedeagus. All 
of these fall within my concept of H. 
obscuroaeneus. 

Biology 

Most specimens have been taken among stones 
and vegetation at the edges of small rivers, creeks 
and ponds. Some specimens from Cape 
Tribulation in ANIC were collected from 
'rainforest leaf & log litter'. 



Species Group 4 

Group 4 species are characterised by having: 
two rather than three longitudinal carinae at the 
front of the mesosternum; the mesofemur weakly 
spindle-shaped (Fig. 4); the pubescence at the 
base of the mesofemora usually reaching > a third 
the width of the femur at that spot along the rear 



edge; the basal pubescence on the profemora 
complete and reaching > a quarter the width of 
the femur at that spot along the femur. Other 
character states that help to define the group are: 
elongate; plain darkish in colour — although often 
with a slight metallic sheen; some interstriae may 
be weakly raised (in H. multicolor interstriae two 
and four are often strongly raised for part of their 
length); dorsal setae weak to moderate; pronotum 
with moderate to strong fovea; pronotal epipleura 
weak to moderate; head with weak epicranial 
suture. 

Perhaps the most phylogenetically coherent 
group with most species only identifiable by the 
form of the aedeagus. Hydrochus multicolor 
stands a bit apart from the others. 

They are the predominant group in southern 
Australia where they are often abundant but are 
also widespread and common in the north. They 
are still-water species most frequently found 
amongst emergent vegetation in relatively shallow 
water. 



Hydrochus abditus sp. nov. 

Types 

Holotype: male, 'S. Aust Meadows 13 km W 
35°11S 138°36E 28 Sept 96 C.H.S. Watts', 
SAMA. 

Paratypes: 18, same data as holotype, SAMA; 
14, 13 km W Meadows S.A. 26.9.98 C.H.S. 
Watts', SAMA. 

Description (number of specimens examined, 50) 
Fig. 43 

Length 2.4 - 3.5mm. Relatively broad, 
particularly elytra, widening slightly behind 
middle of elytra, narrowing apically. Dorsal 
surface black, ventral surface black, antennae and 
palpi testaceous, legs testaceous, parts of tarsi, 
knees and much of femora darker. Head with 
rather sparse large punctures, occasionally 
granulate; epicranial suture strongly impressed. 
Pronotum moderately punctate, granules absent or 
confined to sides; foveae weak, shallow, usually 
without raised margins. Elytral punctures 
relatively large; alternate interstriae not or only 
slightly raised; plicae weak. Setae on head 
moderate, often quite extensive over posterior half 
of elytra. Pronotal epipleuron well marked, 
relatively broad with strong vertically elongate 
punctures/grooves. Pseudoepipleuron moderately 
broad; elytral epipleuron absent posteriorly, 
enlarging anteriorly to about one quarter to one 



AUSTRALIAN HYDROCHUS 



35 



third width of pseudoepipleuron in same position. 
Front of mesosternurn in centre with two 
longitudinal carinae, the area between them rather 
shallow. Profemur with basal pubescence 
moderate, about one quarter width of femur 
ventrally. Mesofemur weakly narrowing towards 
base, basal pubescence well developed, about one 
third width of femur along posterior margin. 
Metafemur weakly bowed. 

Male: Basal piece of aedeagus straight sided 
1.1 - 1.3 times length of apical piece. Parameres 
thick in basal half, rapidly narrowing to a slim, 
weakly sinuate apical third. Central lobe wide, 
only a little shorter than parameres ( Fig. 43). 

Distribution 

New South Wales 

Armadale, ANIC; Congo, ANIC; 2 km N 
Batemans Bay, SAMA; 8 km N Failford, SAMA; 
MacLean, SAMA; 2 km S Nowra, SAMA; Royal 
National Park, CAL; Tamworth, CAL. 

Queensland 

North Pine River, MCZ; Yungaburra, MCZ. 

South Australia 

Adelaide, SAMA; 13 km W Meadows, SAMA; 
Myponga, SAMA; Williamstown, SAMA. 

Tasmania 

35 km E Hobart, NHMW; Launceston, QM; 40 
km E Launceston, NHMW; 60 km E Launceston. 
NHMW; St. Helens, SAMA. 

Victoria 

1 1 km E Bruthen, SAMA; Cann River, ANIC; 
Dartmoor, SAMA; Ferntree Gully, SAMA; 4.5 km 
SW Healesville, FIELD; 4 ml NNE Nelson. 
NMV; 12 km SW Orbost, SAMA; Wyperfield 
NP, ANIC. 

Western Australia 

Millstream, ANIC; 1 km N Millstream, ANIC. 

Remarks 

A relatively common species in coastal 
southern Australia. Two other group 4 species are 
sympatric with it in southern Australia: H. 
australis and H. multicolor. Hydrochus abditus 
can be readily separated from H. australis by its 
broader shape, dark colour, weak elytral epipleura 
and by the greater development of the pronotal 
epipleura. Hydrochus multicolor differs from H. 
abditus by its usually strongly raised elytral striae, 
raised central panel on the pronotum and its 



usually iridescent dorsal sheen, in contrast to the 
shiny black of H. abditus. In northern Queensland 
I have been unable to reliably separate H. abditus 
from H. kunarajahi, H. radjiei and H. 
aschnakiranae other than by the male genitalia. In 
general it is larger, darker and with the elytra 
proportionally wider than the pronotum than in 
most H. aschnakiranae. From H. radjiei it has 
more weakly developed pronotal fovea and in 
general a smoother elytra. Specimens from the 
seemingly isolated population at Millstream in 
Western Australia are rather more strongly 
sculptured than others. I have found no characters 
that will help separate H. abditus from H. 
kunarajahi other than in the male genitalia. 

Biology 

A still water species found among vegetation in 
ponds or slow moving water. 

Etymology 

Latin. 'Hidden'-in reference to the species 
being 'hidden' within H. adelaidae. 



Hydrochus aschnakiranae Makhan 

Hydrochus aschnakiranae Makhan, 1 994 

= Hydrochus schillhammeri Makhan, 1995; syn. 
nov. 

Types 

Hydrochus aschnakiranae Makhan. Holotype: 
male, 'Solomon is. Guadalcanal: Roroni 35 km E 
of Honiara 10 m, 6.V1964' 'R. Straatman Light 
Trap'.BPBM. 

Hydrochus schillhammeri Makhan. Holotype: 
male, 'Australien QL (26) 10 km S Tully S 
Innisfail, 30 m 25.1.1993 leg Wewalka' 
'Hydrochus schillhammeri det D. Makhan 1994' 
with red holotype label, NHMW. 

Description (number of specimens examined, 
1 17; dissected males, 38) Figs 4, 7, 38 

Length 2.7 - 3.3mm. Elongate, subparallel, 
with elytra weakly expanded. Dorsal surface black 
shiny, elytra and pronotum a little lighter in some, 
ventral surface black, antennae and palpi dark 
testaceous, legs light testaceous with knees and 
parts of femora and tarsi darker. Head moderately 
punctate with weak flat granules, epicranial 
groove usually well marked. Pronotum with weak 
to moderate punctures, lacking granules; foveae 
shallow to moderate, usually delineated with weak 



36 



C. H. S. WATTS 



to moderately raised areas. Elytra with moderately 
large punctures, alternate interstriae tend to be 
raised, particularly four and eight, plica 
moderately strong. Head with weak to moderate 
setae, elytra with weak to moderate setae apically 
and on interstriae toward apex. Pronotal 
epipleuron moderate, about a puncture width 
wide. Elytron with moderately developed 
pseudoepipleuron (Fig. 7), epipleuron very narrow 
posteriorly, weak anteriorly where it is about one 
third the width of pseudoepipleuron. Front of 
mesosternum in centre with two longitudinal 
carinae, area between them relatively deep, 
shallower behind. Profemur stout, a little sinuate, 
basal area of pubescence relatively large, 
narrowest portion ventrally about a quarter width 
of femur at that point. Mesofemur elongate, 
weakly narrowing towards base; basal pubescence 
well developed, at narrowest ventrally about one 
third to one half width of femur at that point (Fig. 
4). Metafemur relatively stout, anterior edge 
bowed. 

Male: Basal piece of aedeagus 1.2 - 1.4 times 
length of apical piece, slightly to moderately 
twisted. Parameres rounded at base rather evenly 
narrowing to blunt tip, left hand paramere (ventral 
view) indented to accept tip of central lobe to 
greater degree than right hand one. Central lobe 
relatively narrow, shorter than parameres, with tip 
weakly expanded and weakly to moderately 
skewed to left (Fig. 38). 

Distribution 

Northern Territory 

1 1 km SW by S Borroloola, ANIC; Canon Hill, 
Kakadu NP, SAMA; Cahills Crossing, ANIC; 
Coastal Plains Research. Station, ANIC; 
Coomalie Creek, CAL; Darwin, SAMA; 6 km E 
Humpty Doo, DPIM; 12 km E Humpty Doo, 
DPIM; Gungurul Lookout, Kakadu, NHMW, 
CLH; Kongarra, ANIC; labiluka Billabong, 
Kakadu, ANIC; Ja Ja Billabong near 
Mudginberry, ANIC; Jabiru, SAMA; 5 km NNW 
Cahills Crossing, ANIC; Mt Borradaile, SAMA; 6 
km SE Mt Borradaile, SAMA; 5 km SE Mt 
Borradaile Station, SAMA; 8 km N Mt Cahill, 
ANIC; 19 km NE by E Mt Cahill, ANIC; South 
Alligator Inn, Kakadu, ANIC; Ubirr, Kakadu, 
NHMW. 

Queensland 

Archer Bend, SAMA; Annan River ANIC; 20 
ml NW Ayr, CAL; 14 ml NW Ayr, CAL; 
Bundaberg, SAMA; Bushland Beach, 20 km N 
Townsville, SAMA; Caloundra, SAMA; Coen, 



DPIM, SAMA; 40 km N Coen, SAMA; 1 10 ml S 
Coen, NMV; 25 ml N Cooktown, ANIC; 8 km N 
Bluewater, SAMA; Home Hill, SAMA; Laura, 
SAMA; 12 km N Laura, SAMA; 50 ml W 
Mackay, ANIC; Mclvor River 40 ml N 
Cooktown, UQIC; 1 km W Mingela, SAMA; 2 ml 
SW Mt Inkerman, ANIC; 2 km N Mt Molloy, 
SAMA; 10 km S Mt Molloy, SAMA; 3 km ENE 
Mt Tozer, ANIC; Musgrave, ANIC; 14 ml SE 
Normanton, ANIC, CAL; Reid River E of 
Mingela, SAMA; Rockhampton, ANIC, SAMA; 
Townsville, CAL, SAMA; 40 km S Townsville, 
SAMA; 20 km S Townsville, SAMA; 12 km NW 
Townsville, SAMA; 25 km S Townsville, SAMA; 
40 km S Weipa, DPIM. 

Western Australia 

Mitchell Plateau, FIELD. 

Remarks 

A moderate-sized, dark species, separable from 
most H. australis by its weaker elytral epipleura, 
moderate pronotal epipleura and apparent lack of 
granules other than on front of head. Most H. 
australis have the pronotum and elytra lighter in 
colour than the head and often quite strongly so, 
whereas, apart from teneral individuals, H. 
aschnakiranae is uniformly black dorsally. The 
degree of pubescence on the femora is generally 
weaker than in H. australis but not enough to 
reliably separate the two. Separation of this 
species from H. radjiei and H. kunarajahi can 
only be done reliably from the aedeagus shape as 
outlined in the key. 

Hydrochus aschnakiranae was described from 
Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands but apart 
from the elytra and pronotum of the holotype 
being lighter in colour than in most Australian 
specimens I can't distinguish it from Australian 
material. (Makhan was mistaken in describing the 
colour of the head, pronotum and elytra of the 
holotype as black.) 

I consider H. schillhammeri Makhan, described 
from a specimen from North Queensland, to be 
synonymous with this species. (Makhan's 
description of the type of H. schillhammeri is 
misleading: its colour is a shiny black, not green; 
the pronotum is uneven but to say it has ten large, 
deep depressions is far fetched; alternate elytral 
interstriae (2, 4, 6, 8 not 3, 5 & 8) are weakly 
raised but hardly carinate.) 

Biology 

Found amongst emergent vegetation in still or 
slowly flowing water. Taken at light. 



AUSTRALIAN HYDROCHUS 



3 7 



Hydrochus australis Motschulsky 

Hydrochus australis Motschulsky, 1860 

= Hydrochus parallelus Macleay, 1873; syn. nov. 

=Hydrochus regularis Blackburn, 1898; syn. nov. 

= Hydrochus diversiceps Blackburn, 1898; syn. 
nov. 

= Hydrochus brunneonitens Lea, 1926; syn. nov. 

= Hydrochus serricollis Lea, 1926; syn. nov. 

= Hydrochus polaki Makhan, 1 994; syn. nov. 

= Hydrochus rambarani Makhan, 1994; syn. nov. 

Types 

Hydrochus australis Motschulsky. Lectotype: 
'Type' 'Pt Philip' 'Hydrochus australis Motsch 
Nov. Holl.' with yellow type label, ZMM. Two 
specimens now mounted on two cards on one pin, 
the upper specimen, a dissected male, herein 
designated. 

Paralectotype: 1, same details as lectotype, 
lower specimen, herein designated, ZMM. 

Hydrochus parallelus MacLeay. Lectotype: 
'Hydrochus parallelus M.L.W. Gayndah' 'K 
19664'. Left hand specimen of two mounted on 
one card, AM, herein designated, 

Paralectotype: 1, same details as lectotype, 
right hand specimen, AM, herein designated. 

Hydrochus regularis Blackburn. Lectotype: 
female, 'T 1532 V 'Australia Blackburn Coll 
B.M. 1910-236' 'Hydrochus regularis, Blackb', 
BMNH. Herein designated. Blackburn mentioned 
a specimen from Murray Bridge (SA) and one 
from Western Victoria in the original description. 

Hydrochus brunneonitens Lea. Holotype: 
female, 'brunneonitens Lea, TYPE Queensland', 
SAMA. 

Hydrochus serricollis Lea. Lectotype: 
'serricollis Lea TYPE Launceston', with 'TY' on 
card, SAMA. Herein designated. 

Paralectotypes: 6, same data as lectotype, 
SAMA (H. australis);], 'Lucindale S. Australia' 
'Co-type' 'serricollis S. Australia Cotype', SAMA 
(H. australis); 2, 'Launceston' 'Co-type' 'Griffith 
Collection Id. by AM Lea', SAMA (H. abditus); 
3, 'Davenport Tas: Lea' 'Tasmanian Towers' 
'Griffith Collection Id by AM Lea' '14009 
Hydrochus serricollis Lea Tasmania Cotype', 
SAMA (H. australis); 1, 'Strahan Tas: Lea & 



Carter' 'Hydrochus serricollis Lea Co-type' 'K 
48448' 'Paratype', AM (H. australis); 2, 'George 
Town' 'K50043' 'Hydrochus serricollis Lea Co- 
type' 'Paratype', AM (1H. abditus); 1, 'George 
Town' 'Hydrochus serricollis Lea Co-type' a 
more recent Cotype blue label 'Paratype T- 132 12 
Hydrochus serricollis Lea 1926', NMV (?//. 
abditus); 1, 'George Town' 'Paratype T- 132 13 
Hydrochus serricollis Lea 1926', NMV (?//. 
abditus); 2, 'Launceston' 'Co-type' 'Hydrochus 
serricollis Lea, Co-type', QM (H. abditus); 2, 'Co- 
type' 'Launceston' 'Australia Brit Mus 1924-156' 
'Hydrochus serricollis Lea, Co-type', BMNH (H. 
australis); 1, 'Co-type' 'Australia Brit. 
Mus.1924-156' 'East Tammar', BMNH (? H. 
abditus). Herein designated. 

Hydrochus diversiceps Blackburn. Holotype: 
female, '6371 T' 'Albion Brisbane C. Wild. 
17.7.92' 'Blackburn coll. 1910-236' 'Hydrochus 
diversiceps, Blackb.', BMNH. 

Hydrochus polaki Makhan. Holotype: 'Coll. 
R.I.Sc.N.B. Australien Ex Coll. Weyers' 
'Hydrochus polaki det. D. Makhan 1994' with red 
holotype label, IRSNB. 

Hydrochus rambarani Makhan. Holotype: 
'Coll. R.I.Sc.N.B. Australien N.S. Wales Coll 
Knisch Coll d'Orchymont' 'det Knisch parallelus' 
'Hydrochus rambarani det. D. Makhan' with red 
holotype label, IRSNB. 

Paratypes 3, same data as holotype, IRSNB. 

Description (number of specimens examined, 
>1000)Figs. 6, 41,42 

Length 2.0 - 3.6mm. Elongate, relatively 
narrow and parallel sided or elytra weakly 
expanded. Head black; pronotum dark brown to 
black, sometimes with anterior margin lighter; 
elytra light testaceous to dark reddish brown; 
ventral surface black; antennae and palpi 
variably testaceous; legs light testaceous with 
knees, parts of tarsi, and sometimes parts of 
femora darker. Head and pronotum variably 
sculptured from smooth and weakly punctured to 
strongly granulate, pronotal foveae moderately 
developed, weakly delineated by raised areas. 
Elytral punctures moderate; interstria four may 
be weakly raised, plicae weak, granulation 
lacking to quite strongly developed. Pronotal 
epipleuron very narrow, virtually lacking in 
many specimens. Pseudoepipleuron moderate 
posteriorly, narrowing anteriorly; elytral 
epipleuron narrow, absent posteriorly, relatively 
broad anteriorly where it is equal in width or 
greater (usually) than pseudoepipleuron in same 
place (Fig. 6). Profemur stout, weakly 



38 



C. H. S. WATTS 



constricted at base, basal pubescence well 
developed, on ventral surface about half width 
of femur. Mesofemur moderately elongate, 
weakly narrowing towards base; basal 
pubescence well developed, reaching 
approximately the equivalent of the width of the 
femur along posterior/ventral margin. Metafemur 
moderately elongate, posterior edge straight, 
anterior edge evenly bowed, incomplete 
ventrally. Front of mesosternum in centre with 
two longitudinal carinae, area between them 
deep anteriorly but with weakly raised T shaped 
structure posteriorly. Head with weak to 
moderate setae; elytra with weak setae at apex 
and on some interstriae towards apex. 

Male: Aedeagus with basal piece approximately 
five times as long as apical piece, parallel sided. 
Apical piece often twisted to left (viewed 
ventrally) to varying degrees; parameres bulbous 
in basal half, narrow and sinuate apically; central 
lobe narrow, slightly shorter than parameres (Figs 
41,42). 

Distribution 

Australian Capital Territory 

Black Mt, ANIC; Canberra, SAMA; 30 km SW 
Canberra, SAMA; 25 km W Canberra, ANIC; 
Deakin, ANIC; Gungahlin, ANIC. 

New South Wales 

Armadale, ANIC; 8 km N Bombala, SAMA; 
Bulla Bulla Tank, SAMA; Clarence River, 
SAMA; Congo, ANIC; Cooma, SAMA; 
Coonabarabran, ANIC; 9 km NNE 
Coonabarabran, ANIC; 28 km N Dubbo, ANIC; 
Forbs, SAMA; Gilgandra, SAMA; Gindera, CAL; 
Hay. ANIC; 8 km W Hay, ANIC; 10 km W by S 
Jindabyne, ANIC; Lake Cowal, ANIC; MacLean, 
SAMA; Menindee Lake, ANIC, UQIC; Megalong 
Valley, MCZ; Mittagong, SAMA; 6 ml ESE 
Nelson Bay, ANIC; 20 ml W Nerringa, SAMA; 
Nyngan, CAL; Tumut River, CAL; 10 ml N 
Wagga Wagga, UQIC; Whitton, SAMA. 

Northern Territory 

Adelaide River, ANIC; Canon Hill, Kakadu 
NP, SAMA; Coastal Plains Research. Station 
near Darwin, ANIC; Darwin, SAMA; 15 km SW 
Elliot, SAMA; 2 km E Ja Ja Billabong, ANIC; 6 
km N by E of Mudginberry, ANIC; Jim Jim 
Creek, ANIC; 8 km E Mt Cahill, ANIC; 18 km 
WSW Borroloola, ANIC. 

Queensland 

Alligator River, 20 km S Townsville, SAMA; 



Barcaldine, QM; 23 km NE Bauhina Downs 
ANIC; Bushland Beach 20 km N Townsville 
SAMA; Davison River, SAMA; Dalby, SAMA 
Gayndah, SAMA; Gladstone, SAMA; Borumba 
Dam, NHMW, CLH; Brisbane, SAMA, NMV 
Cardstone, ANIC; Cairns, QM; Condomine 
River, QM; Dawson River, QM; Emerald, QM 
Goomeri, UQIC; Goondiwindi, SAMA 
Greenbank, UQIC; 70 km SW Greenvale 
SAMA; 15 km W Gympie, NMV; Hann River 
DPIM; 10 km W Imbil, NMV; Inglewood 
UQIC; Jarding Crossing, ANIC; Laura, SAMA 
Kenilworth State Forest, UQIC; 13 km NW 
Lowood, UQIC; Mary Creek, ANIC; 14 km N 
Mt Molloy, ANIC; 50 km SW Mackay, ANIC; 
8 km SW Mapleton, NMV; Moggill, QM; 21 
ml S Miriam Vale, ANIC; Mt Borradaile, 
SAMA; 5.5 km SW by S Mt Biggenden, ANIC; 
Mt Garnet, SAMA, DPIM; 2 ml SW Mt 
Inkerman, ANIC; Oxley, QM; 10 km W Petri, 
SAMA; N Pine River, QM; S Pine River, QM; 
Rockhampton, SAMA, UQIC; 50 ml SW 
Rockhampton, ANIC; 29 ml SSW 
Rockhampton, ANIC; Taroom, QM; 
Townsville, SAMA, UQIC; 40 km S 
Townsville, SAMA; 25 km S Townsville, 
SAMA; 30 km SE Townsville, SAMA; 
Yeppoon, QM. 

South Australia 

10 km N Coonawarra, SAMA; Fairview Park 
Conservation Park, SAMA; Mannum, SAMA; Mt 
Gambier, SAMA; Mt Lofty, SAMA; Murray 
River, SAMA, UQIC; Murray Bridge, SAMA; 1 
km S Nangwarry, SAMA; Naracoorte, SAMA; 
Penola, SAMA; Warradale, SAMA. 

Tasmania 

Deloraine, SAMA; Launceston, SAMA; Tooms 
River, ANIC. 

Victoria 

Ballan, NMV; 2 km W Brimpaen, SAMA; 
Buangor, SAMA; Cann River, ANIC; 12 km W 
Casterton, SAMA; Clines, NMV; Corryong, 
NMV; Dartmoor, SAMA; Dondangadale, NMV; 
Dromana, NMV; East Pomorneit, ANIC; Echuca, 
UQIC; 21 ml E Echuca, ANIC; Grampians, 
SAMA; Fyans Creek, SAMA; 7 km N Glenisla, 
SAMA; 5 km NW Halls Gap, SAMA; 3 km NE 
Hamilton, SAMA; Healesville, SAMA; 4.5 km 
SW Healesville, HELD; 4 km SW Healesville, 
NMV; Inglewood, NMV; Jordon River, NMV; 
Lake Hattah, ANIC, NMV; Macallaster River, 
NMV; Melbourne, NMV; Merrijig, NMV; 



AUSTRALIAN HYDROCHUS 



39 



Moyston, NMV; 10 km NE Mirranawa, SAMA; 
Mitchell Gorge, NMV; Nathalia, SAMA; Natya, 
NMV; 4 ml NNE Nelson, NMV; Nhill, NMV; 5 
km NW Portland, SAMA; Ringwood, NMV; 
Stawell, SAMA; Swan Hill, NMV; 3 km SE 
Taggerty, NMV; 6 km E Terang, ANIC; 
Warrandyte, NMV; Wellington River, Werribee, 
NMV; Yarra River, NMV. 

Western Australia 

Armadale, SAMA; Belmont, FIELD; Boyup 
Brook, ANIC; Bridgetown, MCZ; Bunburry, 
ANIC; Darling Ranges, SAMA; 14 ml E 
Denmark, ANIC; Harvey River, NMV; Kerridale. 
ANIC; 4 km W King Cascade, ANIC; Maidavail, 
SAMA; Mandaring Weir, MCZ; Margaret River, 
NMV; Picton Junction, ANIC; Pinjarra, SAMA; 8 
m E Pinjarra, ANIC; 6 km S Pinjarra, SAMA; 
Thomas River 101ml E Esperance, ANIC; Wilga, 
ANIC. 

Remarks 

Perhaps the commonest, most widespread and 
sculpturally variable of Australian Hydrochus 
which is reflected in the fact that it has been 
named seven times. If the variation in 
punctation/granulation of the dorsal surface is 
ignored the degree of variation is actually 
surprisingly little as I interpret the species. 
Most specimens are relatively distinctive, but 
some specimens, particularly from northern 
areas, may be inseparable from other species 
without dissection. Within group 4 it has the 
strongest pubescence on its legs and the widest 
elytral epipleura in contrast to the 
pseudoepipleura. No other group 4 species has 
the elytra lighter in colour than the head and 
pronotum, unless teneral. The weak to absent 
pronotal epipleura in H. australis also separates 
most specimens from related species, although 
some H. abditus also have weakly developed 
pronotal epipleura. In many specimens, 
particularly from more southern populations, 
the apical piece of the aedeagus is skewed 
sideways. Within Australian Hydrochus this 
character is shared only with H. aschnakiranae 
but in this species all specimens that I have seen 
have the aedeagus skewed to some degree 
whereas in H. australis there is considerable 
variation from straight to strongly skewed. In 
H. australis the parameres and the central lobe 
are equally skewed in contrast to H. 
aschnakiranae in which only the central lobe is 
skewed. (The type of H. brunneonitens is a 
teneral individual with a relatively light 



coloured dorsum and the darker colour on the 
legs apparently not yet developed.) 

Biology 

A very common species amongst emergent 
vegetation in still or slowly flowing water. Taken 
at light. 



Hydrochus kunarajahi Makhan 

Hydrochus kunarajahi Makhan, 1994. 

Type 

Holotype: male, 'AUSTRALIA: NQ Tulley Falls 
111-10-1956' 'Light Trap J.L. Gressitt' 'Hydrochus 
kunarajahi det D. Makhan 1994', BPBM. 

Description (number of dissected males 
examined, 21) Fig. 39 

Length 2.7 - 3.5mm. Elongate, widening 
slightly behind middle of elytra. Head shiny 
black, pronotum and elytra shiny dark brown to 
black; ventral surface black; antenna and palpi 
testaceous, palpi tips darker; legs testaceous, 
parts of tarsi, knees and much of femora darker. 
Head moderately punctate/granulate, granules 
flat, epicranial suture distinct. Pronotum 
moderately punctate, foveae moderate, usually 
delineated by thin raised margins. Elytra with 
moderate sized but deep punctures, alternate 
interstriae not or only weakly raised, plicae 
moderate. Head and apical portion of elytra 
weakly to moderately setose. Pronotal 
epipleuron well marked, about a puncture width 
wide. Elytron with weak to moderate 
pseudoepipleuron, epipleuron absent to weak 
posteriorly, enlarging to one third to one half 
width of pseudoepipleuron anteriorly. Front of 
mesosternum in centre with two longitudinal 
carinae, area between then deep anteriorly, 
becoming shallower behind. Profemur weakly 
sinuate, basal pubescence well developed, 
ventrally about one quarter width of femur at 
same place. Mesofemur weakly sinuate, slightly 
narrower towards base, ventral pubescence well 
developed about one half to equal width of 
femur along posterior margin. Metafemur 
slightly bowed anteriorly. 

Male: Basal piece of aedeagus narrowing 
towards base, about 1.5 - 1.7 times apical piece. 
Parameres bulbous, at base wider than basal piece, 
weakly narrowing in middle, slightly widening 
toward tip. Central lobe wide, about two thirds to 
three quarters length of parameres (Fig. 39). 



40 



C. H. S. WATTS 



Distribution 

Northern Territory 

14 km SW Cape Crawford, ANIC; 8 km ESE 
Cape Crawford, ANIC; Darwin, NMV; 19 km 
SSE Mataranka, ANIC. 

Queensland 

8 km N Bluewater, SAMA; Burdekin River E 
of Charters Towers, SAMA; 25 km N Laura 
DPIM; Mary Creek 14 km N Mt Molloy, ANIC 
Mackay, NMV; Reid River E of Mingela, SAMA 
Rockhampton, NHMW, CLH; Townsville, CAL, 
FIELD. 

Western Australia 

12 km S Kalumburu Mission, ANIC. 

Remarks 

A relatively large, dark species very similar to 
H. abditus, H. radjiei and H. aschnakiranae but 
seemingly much rarer. From H. aschnakiranae it 
can be separated by the male genitalia (see key 
and Figs 38, 39). From H. radjiei it differs in 
having a weaker pronotal and elytral sculpture, 
and seemingly lacks the pronotal granules quite 
frequently found in H. radjiei. The male genitalia 
resemble those of H. radjiei and for a while I 
considered H. kunarajahi to lie within that 
species. They differ however in the narrowing 
towards the base of the aedeagus, the squatter 
apical piece and the strongly bulbous paramere 
bases (Fig. 39). 

Biology 

Found amongst stones, detritus and emergent 
vegetation at the edge of slow moving water. 
Taken at light. 



Hydrochus multicolor Lea 

Hydrochus multicolor Lea, 1926 

= Hydrochus matthewsi Makhan, 1995; syn. nov. 



Types 

Hydrochus multicolor Lea. Lectotype: 
'multicolor Lea TYPE Mt Macedon'. Right hand 
specimen of two mounted on one card and 
identified by 'TV below it, SAMA, herein 
designated. 

Paralectotypes: 1, same details as lectotype, 
SAMA; 1, 'Forest Reefs N.S.W. Lea' 'Co-type', 
SAMA; 1, 'Adelaide Blackburn' 'Co-type' 



'C125', SAMA; 2, 'Mt Macedon Victoria H.W. 
Davey' 'Co-type', SAMA; 2, 'Mt Macedon 
Victoria H.W. Davey' 'F.E. Wilson Collection' 
'Hydrochus multicolor Lea Cotype' with more 
recent blue label '2287-98 Cotype', NMV. Herein 
designated. 

Hydrochus matthewsi Makhan. Holotype: male, 
'Australien (19) Queensland Mareeba, 700m 22.1. 
1993 leg Wewalka' 'Hydrochus jii det. D. 
Makhan 1994' with red Holotype label, NHMW. 
See note below. 

Description (number of specimens examined, 78) 
Fig. 40 

Length 2.7 - 4.4mm. Elongate, elytra weakly 
widened in middle, rapidly narrowing at apex. 
Head black, usually with iridescent sheen; 
pronotum dark brown to black usually with 
iridescence sheen; elytra dark-brown to nearly 
black shiny; ventral surface dark-brown, legs 
testaceous with parts of tarsi, knees and parts of 
femora darker. Head strongly granulate/punctate, 
granules often only at sides; epicranial suture 
weak to moderate. Pronotum rather smoothly 
granulate/punctate, foveae weak, the central third 
(longitudinally) of pronotum somewhat raised 
with sides falling away, almost flanged. Elytron 
with relatively small, even punctures, moderately 
to strongly granulate, interstriae two and six 
usually strongly raised in basal fifth, interstria 
four usually strongly raised from about level of 
end of raised portion of interstria two to the apical 
quarter, where the raised portion ends abruptly; 
interstria eight raised in basal three quarters 
incorporating plica. Head and elytra with none to 
a few setae. Pronotal epipleuron well developed, 
two to three puncture widths wide, sometimes 
fluted. Pseudoepipleuron moderately wide, 
epipleuron absent behind narrow in front. Front 
of mesosternum in centre with two narrow sharply 
raised longitudinal carinae, the area between them 
quite deep. Profemur moderately stout, basal 
pubescence moderately developed, about a quarter 
width of femur on ventral surface. Mesofemur 
elongate narrowing a bit toward base, basal 
pubescence moderately developed reaching about 
a quarter width of femur at base along hind 
ventral margin. Metafemur moderately elongate, 
weakly bowed on front edge. 

Male: Basal piece of aedeagus narrow, 
straight sided, 1.7 - 1.9 times length of apical 
piece. Apical piece very narrowly triangular, 
pointed. Central lobe narrow, expanded a bit 
towards apex, a little shorter than parameres 
(Fig. 40). 



AUSTRALIAN HYDROCHUS 



-II 



Distribution 

New South Wales 

2 km N Batemans Bay, SAMA; 8 km N 
Bombala, SAMA; Collector, SAMA; Hartley 
Vale, MCZ; Megalong Valley, MCZ; Nyngan, 
SAMA. 

Queensland 

Mareeba, NHMW 

South Australia 

7 km N Forreston, SAMA; Inglewood, SAMA; 
5 km NE Inglewood, SAMA; 13 km W Meadows, 
SAMA; Myponga, SAMA; Williamstown, 
SAMA. 

Victoria 

Ballan, NMV; 4.8 km WNW Blackwood, 
ANIC; Grampians, SAMA; Melbourne, NMV; 12 
km SW Orbost, SAMA; Warrandyte, NMV. 

Remarks 

A large species from south-eastern Australia 
and the Atherton region of north Queensland. 
Well sculptured specimens are easily recognisable 
by the strongly raised elytral interstriae and the 
unusual raised central region of the pronotum, 
although this latter character is hard to describe 
adequately. In a few specimens the elytral 
interstriae are only weakly raised but even in these 
the abrupt ending to the raised portions is usually 
diagnostic. The aedeagus is distinctive and can 
only be mistaken for some group 2 species which 
are otherwise very different. 

In NHMW there is a specimen collected by 
Wewalka from Mareeba, Queensland that has 
been labelled as the holotype of Hydrochus jii 
Makhan. This appears to be a nomen nudum. The 
locality data are identical to those given for the 
type of H. matthewsi Makhan. The male genitalia 
also match the illustration of H. matthewsi given 
by Makhan. Makhan' s brief description would 
also match the specimen. Since I can find no trace 
of a labelled holotype of H. matthewsi I suspect 
this specimen is the holotype and I am treating it 
as such. It agrees with H. multicolor Lea in most 
aspects including aedeagus and pronotum. The 
elytral interstriae are much less strongly raised 
than in typical H. multicolor although within the 
variations found in this species. I consider it a 
junior synonym of H. multicolor Lea. 

Biology 

Found amongst emergent vegetation in still and 
slow moving water. 



Hydrochus radjiei Makhan 
Hydrochus radjiei Makhan, 1994 

Type 

Holotype: male, 'AUSTRALIA: NQ Tulley 
Falls 111-10-1956' 'Light Trap J.L. Gressitt', 
BPBM. 

Description (number of specimens examined, 
123: dissected males, 48) Fig. 44 

Length 2.6 - 3.8mm. Elongate, widening 
slightly behind middle of elytra. Dorsal surface 
shiny, black, ventral black; antennae and palpi 
testaceous, palpi usually with dark tip, legs 
testaceous, parts of tarsi, knees and parts of 
femora darker. Head granulate/punctate. 
Pronotum with deep strong punctures, often 
granulate, foveae moderate to strong, bounded by 
narrow raised areas. Elytra with strong deep and 
regular punctures, alternate interstriae vary from 
weakly to quite strongly raised, plicae although 
strong tend to be absorbed into raised interstria 
eight. Head and apex of elytra weakly to moderate 
setose. Pronotal epipleuron well marked, about 
one puncture wide or a little wider. 
Pseudoepipleuron relatively narrow, elytral 
epipleuron absent to very narrow posteriorly, 
expanding anteriorly to one third to one half times 
the width of pseudoepipleuron in same place. 
Front of mesosternum in centre with two 
longitudinal carinae, area between them deep in 
front, becoming shallow in posterior half. 
Profemur stout, relatively parallel sided, basal 
pubescence about a quarter width of femur. 
Mesofemur rather narrow, weakly narrowing 
basally, basal pubescence strong, reaching one 
third to one half width of femur along posterior 
margin. Metafemur relatively elongate, weakly 
bowed on anterior edge 

Male: Basal piece of aedeagus straight 1.4 - 
1 .7 times length of apical piece. Parameres thick, 
narrowing in middle, expanding towards tip, 
central lobe relatively thick, two thirds to three 
quarters length of parameres (Fig. 44). 

Distribution 

New South Wales 

Maclean, SAMA; Yuragin NP, ANIC 

Northern Territory 

Adelaide River, ANIC; Berry Springs, ANIC; 
46 km SSW Borroloola, ANIC; Coastal Plains 
Research Station, ANIC; Coomalie Creek, CAL; 
Cooper Creek near Mt Borradaile, SAMA; 52 km 



42 



C. H. S. WATTS 



S Darwin, ANIC; Groote Eylandt, ANIC; 12 km 
NE Howard Springs, ANIC; Humpty Doo, DPIM; 
10 km SW Jabiru, SAM A; 20 km SSW Jabiru, 
SAMA; Katherine, ANIC; Koongarra, ANIC; 
Lake Bennet, NTM; Manton Dam, ANIC; 1 1 km 
SW by S Borroloola, ANIC; 6 km SE Mt 
Borradaile, SAMA; 19 km E by S Mt Borradaile, 
ANIC; 5 km SE Mt Borradaile Station, SAMA; 8 
km E Mt Cahill, ANIC; 19 km NE by E Mt Cahill, 
ANIC; 8 km E Mt Cahill, ANIC; Muirella Park 
Kakadu, DPIM; Murganella, NTM; Pine Creek, 
SAMA. 

Queensland 

Archer Bend, SAMA; Archers Creek, ANIC; 
Ayr, CAL; Bamaga, SAMA, UQIC; Bowling 
Green Bay NP, SAMA; Bundaberg, SAMA; 8 km 
N Bluewater, SAMA; Caloundra, SAMA; Cape 
Flattery, ANIC; Cardstone, ANIC; 40 km N Coen, 
SAMA; Cooktown, ANIC; 25 km N Cooktown, 
ANIC; 14 ml NW; Dalhunty River, SAMA; 
Eubenargee Swamp, SAMA; Green Hills, ANIC; 
Hann River, DPIM; 10 km N Howard, NHMW, 
CLH; 7 km N Hope Vale Mission, ANIC; Iron 
Range, ANIC, UQIC; Mackay, NMV; 40 ml N 
Cooktown, UQIC; Mt Molloy, SAMA; 9 km ENE 
Mt Tozer, ANIC; 73 km NW by W Laura, ANIC; 
25 km N by W Mareeba, ANIC; Mary Creek, 
ANIC; 20 ml N Maroochydore, ANIC; Mission 
Beach, ANIC; Mt Webb NP, ANIC; 3 km NE Mt 
Webb, ANIC; 5 km ESE Mt Finnigan, ANIC; 17 
km N Mt Molloy, ANIC; 52 km SW by S Mt 
Garnet, ANIC; Rockhampton, NHMW, SAMA; 
15 km WNW South Johnstone, DPIM; Strathmore 
Station, DPIM; 3 km ENE Mt Tozer, ANIC; 2 km 
NNE Mt Tozer, ANIC 

Western Australia 

Mitchell Plateau 14°49S 125°50E, ANIC; 3 ml 
E Pago Mission, HELD. 



Remarks 

A relatively large, dark species which is 
common in coastal northern Australia. 
Although most specimens can be separated 
from H. australis by colour and weaker elytral 
epipleura not all can, in which case dissection 
is required. It is even more similar to H. 
aschnakiranae, but tends to be larger and more 
robustly sculptured, often with granules on the 
pronotum which are lacking in H. 
aschnakiranae. Again reliable separation 
should be based on the male genitalia. These 
vary a bit in the degree of elongation of the 
apical piece, and extremely elongated examples 
can be confused with H. aschnakiranae, but H. 
radjiei lacks the twisted basal piece, the 
asymmetric parameres and narrower skewed 
central lobe of H. aschnakiranae. (The male 
genitalia of the holotype appear to have the 
central lobe distorted and not to be naturally 
skewed: see figure in Makham, 1994). At the 
other extreme H. aschnakiranae aedeagi can 
approach those of H. kunarajahi (see discussion 
under that species). 

Biology 

Found amongst emergent vegetation in still and 
slow moving water. Taken at light. 



Acknowledgments 

I thank the curators of the collections listed earlier 
for allowing me ready access to specimens in their care, 
and in particular, Dr M. A. Jach of NHMW for 
arranging the loan of the type of H. australis. I would 
also like to thank Ms C. Home and Ms D. Churches for 
helping with the typing of the manuscript, Mr R. 
Gutteridge for preparing the figures, and Mrs M. 
Anthony and Mrs J. Evans for help with the library 
references. 



Checklist Of Australian Hydrochus Leach 



H. abditus sp. nov. 

H. adelaidae Blackburn 

H. aenigmatis sp.nov. 

H. aschnakiranae Makhan 

H. atratus sp. nov. 

H. australis Motschulsky 

H. brunneonitens Lea = H. australis Motschulsky 

H. burdekinensis sp. nov. 

H. cucullatus sp.nov. 

H. decorus sp.nov. 

H. diversiceps Blackburn = H. australis Motschulsky 

H. eurypleuron sp.nov. 

H. gitaraiae Makhan 



H. granicollis Lea 

H. horni Blackburn 

H. imamkhani Makhan 

H. insularis Lea = H. obscuroaeneus Fairmaire 

H. interioris Blackburn 

H. kunarajahi Makhan 

H. lateviridis Blackburn 

H. macroaquilonius sp.nov. 

H. matthewsi Makhan = H. multicolor Lea 

H. multicolor Lea 

H. nadesui Makhan = H. obscuroaeneus Fairmaire 

H. numerosepunctalus sp.nov. 

H. obscuroaeneus Fairmaire 



AUSTRALIAN HYDROCHUS 



43 



H. obsoletus Lea 

H. palmerstoni Blackburn = H. obscuroaeneus 

Fairmaire 

H. parallelus MacLeay =H. australis Motschulsky 

H. polaki Makhan = H. australis Motschulsky 

H. radjiei Makhan 

H. rambarani Makhan = H. australis Motschulsky 

H. regularis Blackburn = H. australis Motschulsky 

H. rodjani Makhan = H. obscuroaeneus Fairmaire 



H. scabricollis Lea = H. horni Blackburn 

H. schoenmanni Makhan = H. imamkhani Mahkan 

H. schillhammeri Makhan = H. aschnakiranae Makhan 

H. serricollis Lea = H. australis Motschulsky 

H. simplicicollis Lea 

H. umbratilis sp.nov. 

H. verae Makhan = H. simplicicollis Lea 

H. victoriae Blackburn = H. adelaidae Blackburn 

H. wewalkai Makhan = H. obscuroaeneus Fairmaire 



References 



ANGUS, R. B. 1977. A re-evaluation of the taxonomy 
and distribution of some European species of 
Hydrochus Leach (Col., Hydrophilidae). 
Entomologists Monthly Magazine 112: 176-201. 

BLACKBURN, T. 1838. Notes on Australian 
Coleoptera with descriptions of new Species. 
Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South 
Wales 3: 805-875. 

BLACKBURN, T. 1895. Further notes on Australian 
Coleoptera, with descriptions of new Genera and 
Species. Transactions of the Royal Society of South 
Australia 19: 27-60. 

BLACKBURN, T. 1896. Coleoptera (exclusive of the 
Carabidae) in 'Report of the Horn Scientific 
Expedition to Central Australia', Part II-Zoology: 
254-263. Melville, Mullen and Slade: Melbourne. 

BLACKBURN, T. 1898. Further notes on Australian 
Coleoptera, with descriptions of new species. 
Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 
22: 221-233. ' 

FAIRMAIRE, L. 1879. Descriptions de Coleopteres 
nouveaux ou peu connus du Musee Godeffroy. 
Hydrophilidae. Journal du Museum Godeffroy XIV: 
80-83. 

LEA, A. M. 1926. Notes on some miscellaneous 
Coleoptera with descriptions of new species Part VI. 



Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 
50: 45-84. 

MACLEAY, W. 1873. Notes on a collection of insects 
from Gayndah. Transactions of the Entomological 
Society of New South Wales 2: 29-205. 

MAKHAN, D. 1994. Thirty-five new Hydrochus 
species from the Old and the New World 
(Coleoptera; Hydrophilidae). Annates Historico- 
Naturales Musei Nationalis Hungarici 86: 29-42. 

MAKHAN, D. 1995. Descriptions of ten new 
species of Hydrochus from different parts of the 
world (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae). Phegea 23: 
187-193. 

MOTSCHULSKY, V. 1860. Reise und Forschungen im 
Amur-Lande in den Jahren 1854-1856 von Dr. 
Leopold v. Schenck, 2 (2), Coleopteren, Imperial 
Academy of Science: St. Petersburg. 

OLIVA, A. 1995. The genus Hydrochus Leach 
(Coleoptera; Hydrophiloidea; Hydrochidae) in South 
America, with special reference to Argentina. 
Bulletin et Annates de la Societe Royale Beige 
d'Entomologie 132: 301-341. 

SMETANA, A. 1988. Review of the family 
Hydrophilidae of Canada and Alaska (Coleoptera). 
Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Canada 
142: 316pp. 



DESIGNATION OF A LECTOTYPE AND DESCRIPTIONS OF FOUR NEW SPECIES OF 
AUSTRALIAN BUPRESTIDAE (COLEOPTERA). 



SHELLEY BARKER 



BARKER, S. 1999. Designation of a lectotype and descriptions of four new species of 
Australian Buprestidae (Coleoptera). Records of the South Australian Museum 32(1): 45-49. 

A lectotype is designated for Cisseis nubeculosa Germar. The following four new species of 
Buprestidae are described: Cisseis ernestadamsi sp. nov., Cisseis robertfisheri sp. nov., 
Astraeus acaciae sp. nov., Neocuris carnabyae sp. nov. 

S. Barker, Department of Entomology, South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, 
South Australia 5000. Manuscript received 1 September 1998. 



Material 

Specimens examined came from the following 
institutions and collections: 

ANIC — Australian National Insect 
Collection, CSIRO, Canberra. 

BMNH — The Natural History Museum, 
London. 

HUMB — Humboldt University Museum, 

Berlin. 
MHSA — Mr T. M. S. Hanlon, Hunters Hill, 

Sydney. 

MPWA — Mr M. Powell, Melville, Western 
Australia. 

SAMA — South Australian Museum, Adelaide. 



Introduction 

Cisseis and Ethon, closely related genera in the 
tribe Agrilini (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), were 
proposed by Gory and Laporte (1839). 
Subsequently Blackburn (1887) separated 
Neospades from Cisseis on the basis of the 
structure of the tarsi and their claws described as 
double in Neospades and single in Cisseis (s.s.). 
Examination of available material has shown that 
there is a gradation in the tarsal claws from one 
condition to the other and Neospades should be 
delimited by other characters or abandoned. Carter 
(1923) was the last reviser of Cisseis which now 
needs to be re-examined. Cisseis species are 
difficult to identify and all of the types need to be 
examined before a revision can be completed. It is 
now known that the genus occurs in Australia, 
New Guinea and nearby islands and in the 
Philippine Islands. In Australia the genus is 



largely, but not exclusively, associated with 
Acacia species. 

The location of the Germar types of Cisseis in 
the Humboldt University Museum, Berlin has 
been established and I have examined the types of 
Cisseis nubeculosa Germar, Cisseis chalcoptera 
Germar and Cisseis notulata Germar, all collected 
in Adelaide. The first two are female and male 
specimens respectively of the same species, 
common in South Australia. The third is an 
uncommon species confined to South Australia as 
far as I know. Two new species of Cisseis were 
discovered by veteran collectors: the first in 
Queensland by Mr E. E. Adams, beetle collector 
extraordinaire; the second in South Australia by 
Mr R. H. Fisher, well known butterfly expert. 
Herein I name both species to honour their 
collectors. 

Astraeus is a well known genus in which more 
than half the species are associated with 
Allocasuarina species (Barker 1975; 1977; 1989). 
Thus it is unusual that a new species has been 
found in Western Australia associated with 
Acacia, the first record of an association between 
the two genera. On the other hand Neocuris is 
poorly known and difficult to identify. The group 
has not been revised for over seventy years (Carter 
1928) and there is no reliable key for their 
identification. A very distinctive species has come 
to hand from a remote locality in Western 
Australia and is described herein. 



Designation Of Lectotype 

I have examined two female syntypes of Cisseis 
nubeculosa Germar (HUMB no. 42752) and two 
male syntypes of Cisseis chalcoptera Germar 



46 



S. BARKER 



(HUMB no. 42752) all collected in South 
Australia (Germar 1848) and held in the 
Humboldt University Museum, Berlin. These 
specimens all belong to the same common species 
which is confined to South Australia. Thus C. 
chalcoptera Germar is a synonym of C. 
nubeculosa Germar. I have placed a fluorescent 
red label with the following handwritten words: 
LECTOTYPE, Cisseis nubeculosa (Germar), 
selected S. BARKER 1998, on the pin of one of 
the two female syntypes. I hereby designate this 
specimen as the lectotype of C. nubeculosa 
Germar. 



Descriptions Of New Species 



Cisseis ernestadamsi sp. nov. 
(Fig. 1A) 

Types 

Holotype: 6, ii.1946, Edungalba, Qld, on 



brigalow, E. E. Adams, ANIC. Allotype: 9, 
summer 1975/76, Separation, Qld, leg. A. Smith, 
E. E. Adams, SAM A 121 406. Paratopes: Qld. 3 
9 9, xii.1945, Mourangee, Edungalba, E. E. 
Adams, ANIC; 1 9, same data as holotype, 
ANIC; 1 9, 1969, Edungalba, 80 km SW (sic) of 
Rockhampton, E. E. Adams, ANIC; l.xii.1973, 
Mr Emlen, Milmerran, J. McQueen, ANIC. 

Colour 

Head and antennae coppery. Pronotum coppery 
with green reflections. Scutellum green or coppery 
with green reflections. Elytra dull green with 
coppery reflections; irregularly spotted with 
clumps of white pubescent setae. Ventral surface 
dull green, much of the sternum covered with 
dense white pubescent setae, abdomen with thick 
white pubescent setae laterally. Legs dull green. 

Shape and sculpture 

Head flat, deeply punctured, moderately 
setose; interocular width 0.6 of maximum head 



J 
I 



Tdk 



,$ 

* 





FIGURE 1. Habitus illustrations of the following Cisseis species. A, C. ernestadamsi sp. nov. B, C. robertfisheri 
sp. nov. Scale bar = 5mm. 



NEW SPECIES OF BUPRESTIDAE 



47 



width, dense pubescence around ventral margins 
of eye and lateral to the mouth. Antennomeres: 
1-3 obconic; 4-11 triangular. Pronotum 
shallowly punctured medially, striolate and with 
irregular foveae laterally; anterior margin 
straight, basal margin sinuate; dorsal carina 
diverging from ventral carina at base for short 
distance, then more or less parallel until again 
diverging towards anterior margin which it 
reaches, space between deeply punctured and 
with some pubescence in well preserved 
specimens. Scutellum scutiform, anterior margin 
rounded, flat with punctures. Elytra heavily 
scutellate with small, stiff clumps of setae 
scattered more or less evenly over the whole 
surface. Ventral surface shallowly punctured, 
setae sparse medially, clumped and pubescent 
laterally. Legs: tarsal claws with inner tooth; 
hind tibial comb from middle to apex with three 
rounded projections. 

Size 

Male, 13.0 x 4.5 mm (1). Females, 14.7 x 5.0 
mm (7). 

Remarks 

This species is closest to C. niveosparsa Carter 
and has been misidentified as that species. It can 
be distinguished by its green colour, C. 
niveosparsa is brown; it is a larger species; male 
genitalia are reasonably similar but not identical. 
It was collected on Acacia harpophylla F. Muell, 
ex Benth., brigalow, at all localities. 

Etymology 

This species is named after its collector Mr E. 
E. Adams, Edungalba, Queensland. 



Cisseis robertfisheri sp. nov. 
(Fig. IB) 

Types 

Holotype: 6, Melrose, S. Aust., l.iii. 1986, R. 
H. Fisher, SAMA 121 407. Allotype: 2, Melrose, 
S. Aust., 23.U978, R. H. Fisher, SAMA 121 408. 
Paratype: S. Aust.: <J, same data as holotype, 
SAMA. 

Colour 

Head, antennae, pronotum, scutellum dark 
green. Elytra black with spots formed from 
clumps of white pubescent setae. Ventral surface 
dark green with lateral white spots formed by 
pubescent setae. Legs dark green. 



Shape and sculpture 

Head deeply punctured, deep anterior median 
fovea, interocular width 0.6 maximum head 
width. Antennomeres: 1-3 obconic; 4-11 
triangular. Pronotum shallowly punctured 
medially, deeply punctured laterally; anterior 
margin projecting slightly medially, basal margin 
sinuate; dorsal carina not meeting ventral carina 
posteriorly, diverging for short distance then more 
or less parallel, not reaching anterior margin, 
space between punctured and covered with 
squamiform setae. Scutellum scutiform, the sides 
extended laterally, flat, without punctures. Elytra 
with numerous white spots formed by clumps of 
pubescent setae, the eight largest arranged in a 
circular pattern, with a number of smaller inner 
and outer spots including one on each side at the 
basal margin. Ventral surface shallowly punctured 
medially, scutiform laterally; with dense lateral 
clumps of pubescent setae. Legs: tarsal claws with 
small inner tooth; hind tibia with setal comb from 
just before middle to apex in three distinct 
clumps. 

Size 

Males, 12.0 x 4.1 mm (2). Female, 13.5 x 5.0 
mm (1). 

Remarks 

All specimens were collected on Acacia 
victoriae Benth. The species most resembles C. 
leucosticta Kirby (holotype BMNH) but can be 
separated from that species by the dark green 
colour of the head and pronotum which are 
bronze-green or coppery in C. leucosticta; the 
elytra which are black in C. robertfisheri and 
brown or bronze in C. leucosticta; and the male 
genitalia which are narrower and parallel-sided in 
C. robertfisheri and wider and rounded in C. 
leucosticta. 

Etymology 

This species is named after its collector Mr R. 
H. Fisher, Adelaide. 



Astraeus acaciae sp. nov. 
(Fig. 2) 

Types 

Holotype: 6, Wooramel R., W.A., on Acacia 
sp., 23. ix. 1980, S. Barker & D. J. Williams, 
SAMA 121 409. Allotype: 2, 11 km S Billabong 
roadhouse, W.A. on Acacia sclerosperma, 
7.ix.l996, M. Golding & M. Powell, WAMA. 



48 



S. BARKER 










W 



if % 
■■ 



FIGURE 2. Habitus illustration of Astraeus acaciae sp. 
nov. Scale bar = 5mm. 



from base to apex; small basal crypt at apex of 
medial lobe, setose. Elytra costate, intervals flat 
and smooth, each interval with row of punctures; 
parallel-sided from base, rounded posteromedially 
and tapered to sharp marginal spine; sutural spine 
sharp, rounded inner margin; humeral fold 
moderately developed, angled (vide Barker 1975 
Fig. 1C). Ventral surface shallowly punctured, 
moderately setose, setae short. 

Size 

Males, 8.7 x 3.5 mm (7). Females, 9.1 x 4.1 
mm (5). 

Remarks 

In my revised key to Astraeus (s.s.) (Barker 
1989 p. 191) this species keys out at 18. Add: 
'Short, compressed species.... A. acaciae Barker.' 

Etymology 

This species is named for its association with 
Acacia sclerosperma F. Muell. 



Paratypes: 1 6 , same data as allotype, MPWA; 
3 6 6 & 1 2, 11 km S Billabong roadhouse, 
W.A., 9.ix.l996, M. Golding & M. Powell, 
MPWA; 3 2 2, 1 6 11 km S Billabong 
roadhouse, W.A., ll.ix.1998, T. M. S.Hanlon 
MHSA; cT, 11 km S Billabong roadhouse, 
1 l.ix.1998, M. Golding & M. Powell, MPWA. 

Colour 

Head black with purple reflections. Antennae 
black with blue-green reflections. Pronotum black 
with purple reflections. Elytra black with blue and 
purple reflections and the following pale yellow 
markings: elongate basal spot almost reaching 
basal margin; pre-medial fascia, concave forwards 
touching margin but not reaching suture; post- 
medial fascia, concave backwards touching 
margin reaching little more than half way to 
suture; elongate pre-apical spot. In one of the 
specimens in the type series there is an elongate, 
narrow spot between the two fasciae close to but 
not touching the suture. Ventral surface black 
with blue and purple reflections. Legs black with 
blue-green reflections. Setae silver. 

Shape and sculpture 

Head closely punctured; with small apical 
median keel; setose. Antennae: males with 
antennomeres more or less equal in length; 
females with antennomeres progressively 
decreasing in length towards apex. Pronotum 
closely punctured; laterally rounded and narrowed 



Neocuris carnabyae sp. nov. 
(Fig. 3) 

Types 

Holotype: 6, Coral Bay, W.A., 9.ix.l974, K. & 
E. Carnaby, ANIC. Allotype: 2, same data as 
holotype, ANIC. Paratypes: W.A.: 6 6 6, Coral 
Bay, 8.ix.l974, K. & E. Carnaby, ANIC; 5 66 & 
2 2 2, same data as holotype, ANIC & SAMA; 1 
6 , 1 1 2 km S Onslow, 28. viii. 1 97 1 , T. F. Houston, 
SAMA. 

Colour 

Male. Head and antennae green with yellow 
reflections. Pronotum blue-green medially, green 
laterally with yellow reflections. Scutellum green. 




FIGURE 3. Habitus illustration of Neocuris carnabyae 
sp. nov. Scale bar = 5mm. 



NEW SPECIES OF BUPRESTIDAE 



49 



Elytra green surrounding scutellum and along 
suture for short interval; green at margin at the 
level of the interval between second and third 
coxae; elsewhere dark blue except for yellow 
marking in the form of a central X, the arms 
completely connected in some specimens and not 
in others. Ventral surface and legs green. Setae 
silver. 

Female. Head and antennae blue. Pronotum and 
scutellum dark blue. Elytra same markings as in 
male but blue replaces green. Ventral surface blue, 
legs royal blue. Setae silver. 

Shape and sculpture 

Ovoid. Head shallowly but closely punctured 
with medial sulcus. Antennomeres: 1-2 obconic; 
3-1 1 triangular. Pronotum shallowly but closely 
punctured; projecting medially from apical 
margin, basal margin Insinuate; laterally rounded 
and narrowed from base to apex, a few 
punctations each with central sensillum. 
Scutellum scutiform, without punctures. Elytra 
shallowly punctured, humeral callus prominent, 
apically rounded and subserrate. Ventral surface 
with shallow punctures. 



Size 

Males, 5.8 ± 0.08 x 2.5 ± 0.04 mm (12). 
Females, 6.5 ± 0.32 x 2.8 ± 0. 15 mm (3). 

Remarks 

The elytral markings most closely resemble 
those of Neocuris ornata Carter, a Queensland 
species in which the pale markings take the form 
of a W. The head and pronotum of that species 
are bright metallic green. 

Etymology 

The name honours the collector Mrs Edith 
Carnaby of Wilga. 



Acknowledgments 

I am indebted to the following for assistance: 
Mr E. E. Adams for long-time assistance with 
specimens; Mr R. H. Fisher for specimens; Mr 
T. M. S. Hanlon, Sydney for specimens; Mr M. 
Powell, Melville for specimens; Mr T. A. Weir, 
ANIC; Mr Martin Brendell, BMNH; Dr Manfred 
Uhlig, HUMB; Mr A. McArthur for 
photography. 



References 



BARKER, S. 1975. A revision of the genus Astraeus 
Laporte & Gory (Coleoptera: Buprestidae). 
Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 
99: 105-142. 

BARKER, S. 1977. Astraeus (Coleoptera: Buprestidae); 
A description of three new species and new locality 
records. Transactions of the Royal Society of South 
Australia 101: 11-14. 

BARKER, S. 1989. Contributions to the taxonomy of 
Australian Buprestidae (Coleoptera): New species of 
Astraeus and Stigmodera (Castiarina) and a key to 
Astraeus (s.s.). Transactions of the Royal Society of 
South Australia 113: 185-194. 

BARKER, S. 1998. Selection of lectotypes and 
redescriptions of three Cisseis (Coleoptera: 
Buprestidae) species. Records of the South 
Australian Museum 31: 21-23. 

BLACKBURN, T. 1887. Further notes on Australian 



coleoptera with descriptions of new species. 
Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 
10: 177-287. 

CARTER, H. J. 1923. Revision of the genera Ethon, 
Cisseis and their allies (Buprestidae). Proceedings of 
the Linnean Society of New South Wales 48: 159— 
176. 

CARTER, H. J. 1928. Revision of the Australian 
species of the genus Curis, Neocuris and Trachys, 
together with notes and descriptions of new species 
of other Coleoptera. Proceedings of the Linnean 
Society of New South Wales 53: 270-290. 

GERMAR, E. F. 1 848. Beitrage zur Insektenfauna von 
Adelaide. Linnaea entomologica 3: 153-247. 

GORY, H. & LAPORTE, F. L. 1839. 'Histoire naturelle 
et iconographie des insectes coleopteres, publiee par 
monographies separees.' Volume 2, livraisons 25- 
35. P. Dumenil: Paris. 



WAIYUNGARI AND HIS RELATIONSHIP TO THE ABORIGINAL MYTHOLOGY 
OF THE LOWER MURRAY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA 

PHILIP A. CLARKE 



CLARKE, P. A. 1999. Waiyungari and his relationship to the Aboriginal mythology of the 
Lower Murray, South Australia. Records of the South Australian Museum 32(1): 51-67. 

The ethnographic record of Aboriginal mythology in the Lower Murray cultural region of 
South Australia is dominated by accounts of male ancestral heroes, particularly Ngurunderi, 
Waiyungari and Nepeli. The analysis of the ethnographic accounts of the Waiyungari 
mythology in this paper gives greater understanding of the cultural landscape and provides 
further insights into local Aboriginal perceptions of the seasons and of their cosmos. A critique 
of writers who have drawn upon the Waiyungari mythology for popular work is included. Here 
is a study of cultural geography, focusing upon the interaction between culture and the physical 
landscape. 

P. A. Clarke, Department of Anthropology, South Australian Museum, North Terrace, 
Adelaide, South Australia 5000. Manuscript received 22 January 1998 



Introduction 

The available literature on Aboriginal 
mythology in the Lower Murray contains many 
apparently conflicting accounts of major 
ancestors, such as Waiyungari.' The mythological 
corpus of south-eastern Australia derives its broad 
defining character from a number of congruent 
local variations, as previously noted in the case of 
the eaglehawk and crow (Blows 1975) and 
Ngurunderi myths (Clarke 1995). Although the 
literature for the Lower Murray acknowledges the 
importance of Ngurunderi in establishing 
particular traditions and creating many 
topographical features, the significance of events 
attributed to Waiyungari has been treated as 
secondary. This paper follows previous work that 
discusses how Aboriginal mythology provides an 
image of the dynamic aspects of cultural 
relationships to landscape (see Berndt & Berndt 
1989: 408-427; Bos 1988; Charlesworth 1984: 
383-387; Clarke 1991a: 66-69, 1995, 1999; Rose 
1988). The investigation of the Waiyungari myth 
is an important vehicle for the study of Aboriginal 



cosmological beliefs in the Lower Murray region. 
In this myth are explanations of the seasonal 
changes that Aboriginal people observed in their 
landscape. Similarly, their social lives were 
considered by them to be subject to some of the 
forces that generated the seasons. In the early 
years when Europeans commenced mainland 
settlement, the Lower Murray cultural region 
could be defined as the area bounded by Rapid 
Bay in the west, across to the southern side of 
Murray Bridge, and south to Kingston (Fig.l). 
This takes in the southern part of the Fleurieu 
Peninsula, all of Encounter Bay, Lake 
Alexandrina and Lake Albert, and the Coorong. 2 
The region includes territories occupied by dialect 
groups, such as the Ramindjeri, Tangani and 
Yaraldi-speaking people, who are each in turn 
represented by a number of smaller descent 
groups. The Lower Murray region was essentially 
a single cultural bloc, with strong connections to 
the north east. The cultural geography of the 
Aboriginal people associated with this region is 
discussed in detail by Clarke (1994, 1995, 1997). 



There are many versions of this name in the literature, such as Waijungngari (Meyer 1846); Wyungare (Taplin 1874 [1879]; Smith 
1930; Mountford 1971); Waiungare (Taplin 1879); Waiongari (Mathew 1928: 530); Waiangari (Tindale 1934-37); Waijungari 
(Tindale 1935); Waijunggari (Harvey 1939 MS); Wyungarre (Roheim 1971: 292); and Wyungara (Reed 1980). This paper uses the 
spelling Waiyungari, as used by Meyer (1843) and Bemdt & Berndt (1993). Similarly, the spellings of the names of other spirit 
ancestors, Ngurunderi and Nepeli, follow the standards used by Berndt & Bemdt (1993) and Clarke (1995). 
The placement of the northern boundary of the Lower Murray cultural region at Rapid Bay reflects Aboriginal movements after 
European settlement, as described by Tindale (1934-37: 41), the Berndts (1993, map 10, p.330) and Clarke (1991: 66-69). Prior 
to the 1830s, this boundary was east of Cape Jervis (see Amery 1998: 66). 



52 



P. A. CLARKE 




FIGURE 1. The Lower Murray cultural region (after Clarke 1994). 



The Sources 

The Dresden missionary, Heinrich A. E. Meyer 
(1843), first recorded the Waiyungari mythology 
from the Raminyerar (Ramindjeri people) of 
southern Fleurieu Peninsula in the early 
nineteenth century. Later, versions were recorded 
predominantly from Yaraldi people of the area 
around the eastern side of Lake Alexandrina and 
surrounding Lake Albert. During the late 
nineteenth century, accounts of Waiyungari 
appeared in scholarly papers and newspaper 
articles by the Aborigines' Friends Association 
missionaries George Taplin (1874, 1879) and his 
son Frederick Taplin, who were based at Point 
McLeay on the Naming Peninsula on the shore of 
Lake Alexandrina. 3 The Christian influences on 



their records is significant and has been 
commented upon elsewhere (Clarke 1994: 64, 65, 
247-252, 418, 419; 1995: 146, 150-153; 1997: 
125-127). Laurie (1917) published another 
account of Waiyungari in the form of a 
reminiscence from an early pastoralist C. J. 
Hacket of the Narrung Peninsula area. The 
Aboriginal sources for the versions mentioned so 
far are not recorded, nor are the transcripts of 
exactly what the recorders were told. As 
ethnographic sources, there is no way to ascertain 
how literal the translation was and whether the 
recorders, unwittingly or deliberately, introduced 
their own new elements into the mythology. 

In the twentieth century, with the advantage of 
the development in fieldwork techniques within 
the discipline of anthropology, a number of 



There is a suggestion that G. Taplin 's records are a blending of Ramindjeri and Yaraldi data. Initially he engaged English-speaking 
Ramindjeri people to help to elicit information from Yaraldi people at Point McLeay (see Taplin Journals 5 May 1 86 1 ). Taplin also 
used the Meyer ( 1 843) Raminyerar dictionary as a basis for his own work (Taplin Journals 10 April 1 859; Clarke 1 994: 247, 4 1 8, 
419). G. Taplin (1879: 50,51) obtained the account of the Tanganarin group at Goolwa from police trooper T. Moriarty. Other 
references include G. Taplin (Register, 30 January 1862) and F. Taplin (Register, 24 April 1889). The F. Taplin data appears to be 
based on that of his father, G. Taplin. 



WAIYUNGARI 



53 



researchers investigated aspects of pre-European 
Aboriginal cultures in southern South Australia. 
This period of ethnographic recording produced a 
number of accounts of the Waiyungari mythology. 
In the 1930s, Museum curator Norman B. Tindale 
(1934-37; 1935) recorded two major versions of 
the mythology while working with a Tangani- 
speaking man Clarence Long (Milmendjeri 
descent group, northern Coorong area) and a 
Yaraldi-speaking man Frank Blackmoor 
(Peltindjeri descent, near Point Sturt). 4 The social 
anthropologists Ronald M. and Catherine H. 
Berndt (1993) worked in the late 1930s and early 
1 940s, recording aspects of Yaraldi culture. They 
obtained information from Aboriginal people such 
as Mark Wilson (Liwurindjeri descent group, 
eastern Narrung Peninsula), Albert Karloan 
(Manangka descent group, eastern Narrung 
Peninsula) and Pinky Mack (Piltindjeri descent 
group, Poltalloch Station, Lake Alexandrina). 
Some of the accounts provided by Tindale and the 
Berndts are accompanied by transcripts and sound 
recordings of what was said by their Aboriginal 
sources. For this reason, and because of a more 
rigorous scientific approach, their material is more 
useful than the nineteenth century data for 
ethnographic reanalysis, with less likelihood of 
the recorders making errors in formulating their 
written versions. Another field worker, Alison 
Harvey (1939 MS), recorded supplementary data 
from various Lower Murray people in 1939. A 
more detailed evaluation of the biases of each of 
these sources is given elsewhere (Clarke 1994, 
1995, 1997). Popular writers have used these base 
texts in their own compilations. An analysis of 
these is provided in a later section of this paper. 



The Ethnographic Accounts 

The account recorded from the Raminyerar by 
Meyer (1846: 201, 202) is not tied to a particular 
part of the landscape, although appears to refer to 
a coastal region. A brief overview is as follows. 
The mother of Waiyungari was Ningarope, and 



his older brother was Pungngane. Ningarope gave 
birth to Waiyungari in the form of 'excrement' 
that was red due to menstruation. This colouring 
gave Waiyungari the status of kainjani (kaindjani, 
initiate) from birth. Pungngane, who had a normal 
birth, lived with his two wives near the sea. 
Pungngane' s wives found Waiyungari asleep in 
his hut one day. They attracted his attention by 
imitating the noise of an emu and seduced him. 5 
Ningarope was angry at the behaviour of the 
women and informed Pungngane what had 
happened. Pungngane searched for his wives and 
brother, but found the hut deserted. He placed a 
fire upon the hut and told it to burn later when 
Waiyungari and the wives were asleep. During 
the evening the fire increased and started to fall 
on the skins of the occupants, forcing them to run 
to the sea. From a position of safety, Waiyungari 
wondered how he could escape his brother's 
wrath. Waiyungari threw a spear into the sky, 
which made contact but fell to earth again. He 
then used a barbed spear that he sent skyward 
with all his force. It remained stuck and was used 
by Waiyungari and the wives to climb into the 
sky. Pungngane and Ningarope saw them there 
and followed. Waiyungari was recorded in the 
Ramindjeri dialect as meaning the 'name of a star' 
(Meyer 1843 (2): 105). The Raminyerar attributed 
the abundance of kangaroo and pondi (Murray 
cod, Maccullochella peeli) to the actions of 
Pungngane and Waiyungari. Pungngane caught a 
pondi and divided it into small pieces, each of 
which, when thrown into the sea, became another 
pondi* Apparently Waiyungari increased the 
number of kangaroos in a similar way. 

The main accounts of Waiyungari recorded by 
Taplin (1874 [1879: 55-58]; 1879: 38, 39) are 
geographically located around the Point McLeay 
Mission Station on the Narrung Peninsula. 
According to Taplin, Waiyungari had a mother 
(not named), a brother called Nepeli, but no 
father. 7 Waiyungari and Nepeli, along with 
Ngurunderi, were great hunters. Waiyungari was 
particularly renowned for hunting kangaroos. 
Both Waiyungari and Nepeli pegged out the skins 



Tindale (1931: 189.21 1-219; 1938-56: 79-107) also recorded aversion of Waiyungari in Yaraldi language from Albert Karloan. 

He never translated this. 

Roheim (1971: 292) interpreted this incident in Meyer's account as meaning that the women were 'emu wives of the All-Father', 

a possible link to the native companion and emu story of south-eastern Australia (see Tindale 1931-34: 207-209; 1938-56: 33- 

61). 

The fish creation episode is similar to that recorded for Ngurunderi (Clarke 1995: 148). Meyer recorded pondi as ponde. 

In the 1874 version by Taplin, there is no stated relationship between Waiyungari and Nepeli. In the 1879 account, Taplin states 

they are brothers. In most other ways the accounts are similar. 



54 



P. A. CLARKE 



of kangaroos, which formed the many salt lagoons 
in the area (see Fig.2). Waiyungari once tore a 
large kangaroo into many pieces, thus creating 
smaller kangaroos. 8 It was Ngurunderi and Nepeli 
who performed the division of fish. A mound of 
limestone, called Pulluwewal (Pullawewal), on 
the Naming Peninsula was perceived by local 
Aboriginal people to be the hut of Waiyungari. 
Waiyungari lived at Rauwoke (hill at Point 
McLeay) with his mother. He had been a 'red 
man' from his infancy. Once, whilst drinking 
water through a reed at Oulawar on the lake, 
Nepeli's two wives saw him and fell in love with 
Waiyungari. 9 Together they waited until he was 
asleep and made a noise like two emus running 
past. Waiyungari yielded to their demands and 
took them as wives. When Nepeli learned of this 
he was angered and went looking for his brother 
and his wives, but found Waiyungari's hut vacant. 
Nepeli placed a fire in the hut and told it to wait 
until Waiyungari and the wives were asleep inside 
and then burn them. The flames from the burning 
hut chased the occupants along the lakeshore until 
they reached Lowanyeri at Lake Albert Passage, 
where they escaped into the mud. Waiyungari 
decided to live in Wyirrewarre (Skyworld), away 
from Nepeli's hatred. He threw a spear with a line 
attached into the sky. Although it stuck, it would 
not hold Waiyungari's weight. He had more 
success with a barbed spear, pulling himself up 
and then hauling up the women. In Taplin's time 
three stars, which he did not identify, were still 
pointed out by local Aboriginal people as 
Waiyungari and the wives. From the hill of 
Rauwoke, Nepeli placed his canoe in the heavens, 
forming the dense part of the Milky Way. Then he 
went skyward in the same manner as Waiyungari. 
Taplin (1879: 50, 51) published a small account 
of Waiyungari obtained from the 'Goolwa clan'. 
The police trooper T. Moriarty had recorded it on 
a survey return. In this version, Ngurunderi had 
two wives (not named) who caught two fish: a 
large fish, which they baked for themselves, and a 



small one that was given to their husband. This 
attempt at concealment made Ngurunderi angry. 
He punished all people of the local group, called 
Tanganarin, by giving them death and taking away 
their knowledge. As a result, the Tanganarin 
became 'like beasts in the field'. Ngurunderi left 
them and went up to the sky. Taplin (1879: 51) 
records that 'After a long time there was born of a 
virgin a good and wise man, who was named 
Wyungare [Waiyungari].' This man was a 'great 
teacher' who gave back much of what the 
Tanganarin had lost, and also taught them sorcery. 
Ngurunderi eventually took Waiyungari up to the 
sky where he became 'the second king of that 
place'. When a Tanganarin person died, 
Waiyungari took their spirits up into the sky and 
found them a country to live in. 

Under a section titled 'The Translation of 
Heroes', Mathew (1928: 530) provides a brief 
overview of Lower Murray mythology based upon 
an interview with a Ngarrindjeri man, David 
Unaipon. 10 He says: 

Nurunderi [Ngurunderi], the reputed ancestor of the 
Narrinyeri [Ngarrindjeri], came down the Darling, 
and then down the Murray, where he and his 
followers displaced a tribe that were dwelling there, 
whose leaders were Neppele [Nepeli] and Waiongari 
[Waiyungari], the latter being a nephew of Neppele. 
These two were ultimately translated to the sky and 
became with their wives, the stars in the tail of 
Scorpio (Mathew 1928: 530). 

And Ngurunderi 'drove away Neppele and 
Waiongari who had possessed the country before 
him' (Mathew 1928: 536). This account clearly 
establishes an antagonistic relationship between 
Ngurunderi and Nepeli and Waiyungari. 

In 1934 Tindale (1934-37: 32-36, 64) recorded 
a version of the Waiyungari mythology from 
Clarence Long, a Tangani man with connections 
to the Coorong and the Upper South East. 
Although obtained from a Tangani informant, the 
sites involved are clearly within the descent group 
territories of the Yaraldi dialect region. In Long's 



In the 1 879 version, Taplin assumes that the tearing apart of fish and kangaroos was designed to make them smaller. A more likely 

explanation was that the ancestors were increasing the abundance of the food. Roheim ( 1 97 1 : 292) gives other examples of ancestors 

increasing the numbers of animals and people by tearing apart larger spirit beings. 

The act of drinking through a reed is a clear indication that Waiyungari was an initiate. Taplin ( 1 874 [ 1 879: 1 7] ) claims that this 

was the practice for youths made kaingani (kaindjani, sacred initiate status), and adds that they were not allowed to use drinking 

vessels for several months. Harvey (1939 MS) was told by Pinky Mack that Lower Murray men during initiation have to drink water 

from a reed: not allowed to touch water with their feet.' Howitt (1904: 674), Tindale (1935: 267), Berndt (1974: 26) and Bemdt 

& Bemdt (1993: 177-178) noted this practice amongst Lower Murray people. 

The source of Mathew's Lower Murray data is not stated as David Unaipon in his paper (1928). P. G. Jones (pers. com.) claims that 

this was the case. 



WAIYUNGARI 



55 



account, Waiyungari and his elder brother, Nepeli, 
lived with their elderly mother at an unspecified 
place on Naming Peninsula. Nepeli was an 'old 
man' (fully initiated?) about to marry two women 
from another group, when his mother took 
Waiyungari to Pullawewal to avoid trouble. 
Nepeli' s wives were not told that he had a 
younger brother. On one occasion, all the men 
went down to Waintjang where Yoldi (ancestral 
shag man) was camped with other bird men. Here 
Waiyungari was being covered with ochre and 
made a young man. Yoldi had red rubbed on to 
his chin and on his mainly grey chest through 
holding Waiyungari while ochre was put on him. 
Jungundjeri (pronounced Yungunderi?) was a 
reddish bird that lived in the reeds, and it was he 
who actually applied the ochre. Nepeli's wives 
were curious about what was happening. 
Waiyungari was in the habit of going to 
Ngawulwara (Ngulawar, Woodrow Point near 
Naming) to drink and siwim in Lake Alexandrina. 
Nepeli forbade his wives to go in this direction, 
restricting them to Wangaroka (Wangarawar, 
Taplin's Landing). One day, when Nepeli was 
asleep, the wives wanted a change of food, 
desiring to eat fresh-water mussels. They had 
strayed past Wangaroka when they saw red ochre 
floating in the water, which was due to 
Waiyungari swimming nearby. The women 
followed the ochre trail back through the reeds 
and eventually found his camp at Pullawewal 
where he lived with his mother. The two women 
tricked Waiyungari to come out by imitating an 
emu. Waiyungari wanted to get some emu meat to 
send down to the little reed bird (presumably the 
one involved in his initiation). The two women 
lured him away and seduced him. The mother, 
who had earlier heard Waiyungari leave the camp, 
told him that he should have kept away from the 
women. She left Waiyungari and went to tell 
Nepeli. The 'old man', Nepeli, sneaked upon 
Waiyungari's camp to kill him and the women 
with fire." Waiyungari and the wives escaped to 



Tembatung (an inland hill on Naming Peninsula), 
where they watched the camp burn. They knew of 
Nepeli's anger as they could see his spear shining. 
Because of their shame, the Rekkaldi people at 
Ngararang (the town site Naming) would not look 
at them. Waiyungari and the wives made a reed 
raft and crossed the Lake Albert Passage and 
walked into the mallee scrub. At Komantuk (the 
town site Coomandook), Waiyungari tried to spear 
the sky but he was not high enough. They 
travelled further to Mulgarap-ngawan (the place 
Cold and Wet near Mount Boothby). Waiyungari 
'sang' the spears: the first went nearly out of sight 
into the sky, and then the second struck the first. 
The third spear had a 'hair line' attached, and 
when thrown it struck the others. Waiyungari 
tightened the line by attaching the free end to a 
'waddy' (club). Waiyungari and the women 
climbed up into the sky where they can be seen as 
stars. When Nepeli had lost his wives, he made 
another one from the flowering stem of a ngalaji 
(grasstree flower stem, Xanthorrhoea species) at 
Retjeri (bluff at Point McLeay). 12 He went down 
to the edge of the lake to secure his canoe and he 
saw the flowering stem of pantaruki (ribbon 
weed, Triglochin procerum). This was a pretty 
plant that took his fancy, so he made a second 
wife out of that. Nepeli now had two wives again. 
In Tindale's published Yaraldi version of this 
myth (1935), which Frank Blackmoor gave him in 
1934, Waiyungari was the brother of Nepeli, who 
in turn was the brother in-law to Ngurunderi. His 
mother created him from her own 'red 
excrement'.' 3 The red colour meant that he was 
instantly narambi (sacred). Nepeli and his two 
wives lived at Ngulawar' 4 , while Waiyungari lived 
at Pulaweiwalth (Pullawewal). One day Nepeli's 
two wives went to Wangarawar (Wangaroka, 
Taplin's Landing) which was near the camp of 
Waiyungari at Pullawewal. Waiyungari was at 
Wangarawar also, drinking water through a reed 
stem. This was the 'watering place' of the youth 
whilst undergoing initiation and young women 



Although Nepeli controlled the use of fire, its introduction in the creative period was attributed to events surrounding Kondoli the 

whale (Meyer 1847:203-204; Berndt & Bemdt 1993:235-236,450-451). 

Information on plants provided in the 'Tanganekald Vocabulary Cards' (no date) compiled by N.B. Tindale, Anthropology Archives, 

S.A. Museum. The grass tree flower stems were used by Aboriginal people in the Lower Murray region as a source of edible nectar 

when in season, and were used as firesticks when dry (Clarke 1986:11; 1994: 175). Both the grass tree and the ribbon weed have 

edible tubers (Clarke 1988: 69-70; 1994: 175). 

It is not clear whether this is menstrual blood or faeces. 

In Taplin's version, Ngulawar appears as Oulawar. A note by Tindale (on a copy of his 1935 paper in the reprint file, Anthropology 

Archives, S.A. Museum) says 'Note by Milerum [Clarence Long] 13.5.36. Ngulawar is name for any lookout hill; this one is really 

Retjerawar ie. the Bluff at Pt McLeay.' 



56 



P. A. CLARKE 



were forbidden to go near there. He was a 
kaindjani (initiate) and therefore covered with red 
ochre and emu oil and was not to be seen by 
women. Ochre fell from Waiyungari's body and 
that made the water red. The two women watched 
Waiyungari in secret and followed him back to 
his camp. They forced Waiyungari out of his hut 
by mimicking emus, and then grabbed him by the 
penis and seduced him. Nepeli, upon discovering 
the involvement of his wives with Waiyungari, 
seized a fire-stick and some grass, and hid this 
above the hut. He told the fire to burst into flame 
when Waiyungari and the two wives snored. 
When this happened, they fled through the scrub 
towards the Lake Albert Passage, with the fire 
following them. The kangaroo skins, dropped as 
they fled, were transformed into a line of salt 
pans, which remain today as a marker of their 
flight. At Malbindjerang, on the western side of 
Naming Passage, they were forced into the mud 
and for a time were safe there. After the fire, 
Waiyungari looked about for a means of escape. 
He threw a spear towards the sky, but this fell 
back. Then he threw another, which lodged 
there. As a result, the sky fell downwards 
towards the terrestrial landscape. Reaching up to 
his spear, Waiyungari climbed into the sky. He 
found it to be 'good ground' and so asked the 
two women to follow him. They remained in the 
sky as three stars, the central one being 
Waiyungari. 

The records of Harvey (1939 MS) briefly 
mention an event surrounding Nepeli, Waiyungari 
and the wives. She writes that her informants, 
Creighton Unaipon (Potawalin people, Wellington 
area) and Jacob Harris (Mungkarrulp people, 
Tatiara district), told her that 'Pulawaiwal 
[Pulluwewal]' is a 'hill back of Mission where 
Nepelle saw his two wives follow Waijunggari'. 
Harvey also provides another account of how 
Nepeli gained two more wives after the others 
went into the Skyworld with Waiyungari. She 
records that 'Nepelle turned a grass-tree into a 
woman on Thornley's place [at the south-eastern 
side of the Narrung township] by touching it. 
Touched Jew lizard {manuartiki [Amphibolurus 
barbatus]) and it turned into a woman.' Both 
pieces of information from Harvey vary from 
other accounts in detail, although they are 
structurally similar to Tindale's version from 
Clarence Long. 



The account provided by the Ronald and 
Catherine Berndt (1993: 191,228-231, 317, 341, 
366-367, 400, 442^144) from Yaraldi people is 
similar to that of Tindale. A detail the Berndts 
make explicit is that Waiyungari was living in 
total seclusion as an initiate. He was the younger 
brother of Nepeli and their two sisters were the 
wives that Ngurunderi chased. The two wives of 
Nepeli were returning to their camp after having 
been out diving for mussels at Yawaiperung (site 
on the shore of Lake Alexandrina), when they 
noticed that the ground at Puleweiwald (hill of 
Pullawewal) was red from the red-ochred 
Waiyungari. The women were attracted to him. 
Waiyungari was also willing to break the rules 
and sleep with the wives. Nepeli found them and 
set the fire trap. After escaping the fire, 
Waiyungari and the wives of Nepeli crossed the 
lake, regaining the land at Yaltung (site on the 
south-western side of Lake Albert Passage) and 
fled to the Sky to avoid punishment. This was 
achieved by climbing on a string composed of 
spears, which Waiyungari used to drag the sky 
down. Waiyungari, because of his red covering of 
ochre, became identified as the planet Mars. He 
and Nepeli's wives sit in Ngurunderi's Canoe 
(Milky Way), with Waiyungari's spears alongside. 
The emu constellation is nearby in the west. 



The Cultural Importance Of Waiyungari 

The data for all of south-eastern Australia 
suggests that there was a definable 'set' of 
dominant ancestors, often described as 'Supreme 
Beings', who are male, and whose personae or 
identities overlap from region to region. 15 These 
dominating figures originated from outside the 
local cultural area and their point of origin was 
always obscure. Their travels through the region 
provided the main founding drama of the society, 
defining cultural and geographical boundaries, 
and setting limits to social action. In the process 
the dominant ancestors encountered people and 
other spirit beings already living in the area, even 
if, like Nepeli, they may also have been traceable 
in their origins beyond the cultural region. 
Waiyungari is one such local being - he is born in 
the country and most of his actions, before 
leaving for the Skyworld, take place there. He is 
therefore not classed as a 'Supreme Being'. 



In the recorded mythology of south-eastern Australia such male 'supreme beings' include Baiame. Bunjil, Waku, Korna, Nepeli. 
Nurelli and Ngurunderi. For an overview of these ancestors see Berndt (1974) and Clarke (1995). 



WA1YUNGARI 



57 



The name of Waiyungari refers to his 
relationship to the Skyworld, which was called 
Waiyuruwar. 16 There were also other spirit beings, 
other than the major creators, that the Lower 
Murray people closely associated with the 
Skyworld. For example, there is the myth of the 
'dream man' Kulda, who came out of the 
Southern Cross to prepare people for death and to 
lake their spirits to the Land to the West (see 
Clarke 1997:137). The ethnographic sources of 
south-eastern Australia contain many examples of 
ancestors, of greater and lesser importance, who 
finished up in the sky (Howitt 1904: 488-508; 
Mathew 1928: 528-531; Eliade 1958: 41-43; 
Berndt 1974: 24-30). In Lower Murray culture 
the male ancestors, such as Waiyungari and 
Ngurunderi, were more prominent in their beliefs 
than the totem-protectors (ngatji) tied to specific 
descent groups (Berndt 1974: 26; Berndt & 
Berndt 1993: 243). Although described as 
'ancestors', these male beings stand apart from 
the kinship system. 

The predominance of 'Supreme Beings' in the 
Aboriginal mythologies of south-eastern Australia 
appears to have been reinforced by interaction 
with Europeans. There are some clearly Christian 
influences in the recorded Lower Murray 
mythology (see Clarke 1995: 150, 152). For 
instance, Taplin's account of Waiyungari from the 
'Goolwa clan', which is blended with the 
Ngurunderi mythology, appears to have 
appropriated elements from the Old and New 
Testament. The acts of a Supreme Being 
punishing people by giving them death, his 
forgiveness, together with the birth of a great 
teacher from a virgin indicate direct Christian 
influence. Swain (1993, chapter 3) suggests that 
in south-eastern Australia it was the European 
colonisation process that generated Aboriginal 
world views dominated by 'high gods'. Full 
treatment of the 'high god' debate is beyond the 
scope of this paper (see Morton 1994: 904-95; 
Hiatt 1996: 100-119). Nevertheless, it has been 
previously suggested that the smallpox epidemic 
that struck southern South Australia just prior to 
official settlement in 1836 would have devastated 
local Aboriginal populations and possibly led to 
some adjustment to cultural practices (Clarke 
1995: 145). 



The sealers also would have had an impact 
upon the world views of the coastal Aboriginal 
people with whom they interacted (Clarke 1995: 
145; 1996: 56-59,65-70; 1998: 24-28). The 
earliest official accounts concerning the 
Aboriginal inhabitants often occurred some 
twenty years after the arrival of the first 
Europeans. These records are therefore of a 
culture that was coming to terms with European 
contact. Furthermore, realignment of Aboriginal 
mythology may well have occurred in the 1880s 
during the last initiatory sequence in southern 
South Australia, which was attended by 
Aboriginal groups from widespread areas. 17 To 
what extent 'high gods' existed in south-eastern 
Australian cultures prior to Aboriginal experience 
with non-Aboriginal people will never be known 
for certain. Nevertheless, there is a possibility that 
the rapid demise of Aboriginal population on the 
frontier significantly enhanced the importance of 
their beliefs in certain ancestors, particularly those 
associated with death, living in the Skyworld. The 
intensive contact between Aboriginal people and 
European colonists in the Lower Murray region 
favoured the development of syncretic traditions. 

The events of the Waiyungari myth were said to 
have occurred during early spring, a season 
recognised by Yaraldi speakers as riwuri, running 
from August to October (Berndt & Berndt 1993: 
76, 229-231). This was a time of growth and 
mating. The illicit involvement of Waiyungari 
with women was perceived as causing poor 
fishing initially, but improving upon the arrival of 
the Young Men (Orion) and Women (Pleiades) 
constellations in September (Berndt & Berndt 
1993: 164). Waiyungari was said to disappear in 
October-November at the onset of luwadang, the 
time of warmth. According to the Berndts, 
Waiyungari was symbolic of spring: 'witness his 
hot-bloodedness, his personification as the red 
planet, his role of a contravener of the law ... he 
was responsible for all natural growth' (Berndt & 
Berndt 1993: 230). There were no rituals for the 
renewal of seasons or species, apart from the 
pervasive influence of Waiyungari (Berndt & 
Berndt 1993: 75). Waiyungari's 'original mythic 
act of coitus with Nepeli's wives symbolised the 
propagation of all species - he made possible their 
recurrent renewal through copulation' (Berndt & 



" See Clarke (1991, 1997) for a discussion of the Skyworld concept. 

17 Bemdt & Berndt (1993: 163-185,) describe the last initiation sequence in the 1880s at which Lower Murray people were present. 

Clarke (1995: 151) comments on the impact of widespread participation of Aboriginal groups from south-eastern South Australia. 

the Mid North of South Australia and adjacent parts of Victoria and New South Wales. 



58 



P. A. CLARKE 



Berndt 1993: 75). This was strongly supported by 
text translated from Yaraldi that was recorded 
from Karloan (Berndt & Berndt 1993: 341). 
Waiyungari's appearance in the sky was a marker 
for Lower Murray people of the arrival of the 
breeding seasons of animals and the beginning of 
the growth period for many economically 
important plants. In contrast, Ngurunderi was 
described by the Berndts (1993: 76, 230) as 
symbolic of winter (yutang - cold season from 
May to July): his actions had set the scene for the 
later events involving Waiyungari. In the case of 
autumn (marangalkadi -from February to April), 
this was the time of Marangani the crow. 

The starting of a bush fire was a major element 
in the Waiyungari mythology and another possible 
reference to seasonal changes. In southern South 
Australia, fire was important to Aboriginal people 
as a tool in 'fire-stick farming', which took care 
of their country and produced new plant growth 
for the animals they hunted (Clarke 1988: 73, 
74). 18 The Berndts (1993: 230) state that 
Waiyungari: 

was responsible for all natural growth. This theme 
was latent in all Kukabrak living and thinking at the 
level of the group as a whole. 

The combined activities of Waiyungari and the 
two wives of Nepeli refer to seasonal changes, 
which also caused increased sexual activity 
between men and women. For instance, narambi 
initiates were said to be dangerously attractive to 
young women (Berndt & Berndt 1993: 178). 
During spring, sorcery activity was suspended as 
it was considered too dangerous then and perhaps, 
as the Berndts (1993: 261, 262) suggest, there was 
a prohibition 'to honour the season sponsored by 
the mythic Waiyungari'. 

Waiyungari was considered a great hunter, with 
kangaroo skins often mentioned in the myth 
versions, and he was also associated with fishing. 
Wallaby carcases were sometimes thrown into a 
fire as a ritual offering to Waiyungari before a 
large hunting expedition (Taplin Journals, 23 
September 1859; Berndt & Berndt 1993: 76). 
Taplin (1874 [1879: 57]) states that although 
Waiyungari was perceived as being in heaven, he 



'is said to sit up there and fish for men with a 
fishing-spear, and when people start in their sleep 
it is thought to be because he touches them with 
the point of his weapon.' His prowess with the 
spear is also a feature of the mythology. 
Nevertheless, the act of throwing a spear into the 
Skyworld and the use of this as a form of ladder 
to climb up from the terrestrial landscape is not 
unique in Australian mythology. For example, 
there is a recorded belief from the Adelaide Plains 
people of how the Monana (ancestral beings) 19 
climbed into the sky. Wyatt (1879: 16) states that 
his Adelaide Aboriginal source, Konoocha, 
claimed that 'Monana': 

was one day throwing large spears in various 
directions, east, west, north, south; when, having 
thrown one upwards, it did not return to earth. He 
then threw another, and another, and so continued 
throwing; each spear sticking fast to the former one 
until they reached the ground, and he climbed up by 
them to the sky, where he has ever since remained. 20 

Tindale (1935: 266) uses the similarity of 
Wyatt' s account with that of Waiyungari to state 
that the 'Kaurna or Adelaide tribe' knew 
Waiyungari as 'Monana'. Nonetheless, without 
further connections between Waiyungari and the 
Monana, this conclusion appears tenuous in light 
of the wider distribution of some mythological 
themes. 

The bridging of the gap between the Skyworld 
and the terrestrial landscape was variously 
recorded as achieved by the length of one or 
several spears, or on other occasions with the aid 
of a line attached. In two accounts the spear 
caused the Skyworld to fall down. In the case of 
the line attached to the end of the spear, this may 
relate to the use of 'magic rope' or 'hair cord' 
reported as used by Aboriginal doctors and 
sorcerers across Australia (Elkin 1977: 53, 54; 
Berndt & Berndt 1993: 262). It was believed that 
certain people could make this rope travel to the 
Skyworld, up trees, or through space itself. From 
the above accounts of the mythology, both Nepeli 
and Waiyungari had special powers. Regardless 
of the stated method employed by Waiyungari to 
escape the lower landscape, all these accounts 



'" In the Lower Murray region during the 1 850s, some colonists offered Aboriginal people incentives in the form of goods, if they could 

get through the dry season without starting a serious bushfire (Aboriginal Protectors Report of 1850, South Australian Gazette & 

Colonial Record, 20 April 1850, p.4.) 
" Teichelmann & Schurmann (1840(2): 25) list 'Munana' as 'former; late; ancient' and 'Munaintyerlo' as 'of a very remote time; 

ancient'. 
20 The throwing of spears in various directions into the Skyworld is structurally similar to a myth from the Mid North of South Australia 

concerning the throwing of boomerangs in different directions to return the Sun from the Skyworld (Tindale 1937). 



WAIYUNGARI 



59 




FIGURE 2. Places relating to the Waiyungari mythology in the Naming Peninsula area (after Tindale 1935). 



emphasise the great power of the ancestors in 
bridging the gap between land and sky. To 
ancestors, such as Waiyungari and Nepeli, the 
crossing of this boundary was achievable at high 
places like Rauwoke and Mulgarap-ngawan. 

Tindale' s Yaraldi informant, Frank Blackmoor, 
used the account of Waiyungari to explain the 
Aboriginal perception of the origin of fires on the 
Naming Peninsula. In this manner, landscape- 
transforming events, such as bushfires, were given 
a human dimension. Tindale considered that the 
geographical context in his recorded Yaraldi 
version is a determinant of the cultural relevance 
of the Waiyungari story. For instance, due to the 
configuration of the Naming Peninsula, bushfires 
in this region formerly had a tendency to sweep 
down the path along which Waiyungari fled, 
particularly in the face of summer north-westerly 
winds. The sites in the chase sequence of 
mythological events progressed to the south-east: 
from Wangaroka, to Malbindjerang and on to 
Mulgarap-ngawan (Fig.2). This track is entirely 
contained within the Lower Murray region, unlike 
that of Ngurunderi that passes right through. The 
Raminyerar version of the Waiyungari myth may 
also have had this directional theme, although 



terminating in the sea rather than the lakes. It is 
significant that the account of the myth obtained 
by Tindale from Clarence Long was 
predominantly located in the Naming Peninsula 
landscape, even though this area was not directly 
relevant to Tangani-speaking people. The 
Waiyungari myth does not appear to relate directly 
to areas of the Coorong. The landscape is a crucial 
aspect of the mythology. As Tindale (1935: 273- 
274) stated: 

Lifted from this setting they [the myths] lose a great 
deal of their significance ... the legends, when 
associated with their geographical context, enable 
us to understand the people in a manner denied to 
those who know only the anglicised, generalised 
stories. 

Through myths such as that of Waiyungari, not 
only the origins of the landscape are 'explained' 
but so too are such associated physical 
phenomena as bushfires. Nevertheless, apart from 
the bushfires, the seasonal and fertility aspects of 
the Waiyungari mythology are not stressed in 
Tindale' s recording. 

Many of the ethnographic accounts discussed 
in this paper involve Waiyungari's sacred status 
as an initiate, visibly indicated by his red 



60 



P. A. CLARKE 



colouring. His association with young women was 
discouraged, although he had contact with older 
women, such as his mother. Young men during 
initiations were narambi, both taboo and sacred 
(see Berndt & Berndt 1993, chapter 10). 
Nevertheless, the main restriction in Lower 
Murray people divulging their acquired 
knowledge appears to have been by age. The 
Berndts state that for the young men, 'what they 
were told at this time, although sacred, was not 
secret; nor was it information that should be kept 
from women, because they already knew about 
these things' (Berndt & Berndt 1993: 163). The 
four myth cycles focussed upon during the 
initiations were of Ngurunderi, Marangani (Crow 
[= Raven]), the Young Men and Girls stars, and 
of Waiyungari and the two wives of Nepeli with 
whom he fled. The last cycle was apparently of 
particular importance to male initiations, the men 
being symbolic of Waiyungari and the women, 
whom they were to avoid, of Nepeli' s wives. The 
events associated with Waiyungari are therefore 
of particular relevance to the prohibitions relating 
to young men. The initiations were usually 
commenced in September, when Waiyungari (as 
Mars?), was still present in the sky (Berndt & 
Berndt 1993: 169, 178). The themes of ancestors 
chasing wives and the temptation of initiates by 
young women are also to be found outside the 
Lower Murray region. 21 Nevertheless, local 
interpretations of particular myths were 
formulated according to specific landscapes. 

Myths concerning Waiyungari are heavily 
interwoven with those of both Nepeli and 
Ngurunderi. There is a bias towards Ngurunderi 
in much of the literature. For example, Taplin 
(1879: 38) states: 

The great god of the Narrinyeri is Nurunderi 
[Ngurunderi]. They also believe in several demi- 
gods called Waiungare, Nepelle, and demons Pepi 
[Prupi?]. Melapi [Mu:ldapi?], Nalkaru, 
Mulgewanke, and Karungpe. 

This may, in part, be a reflection of the 



recorder's greater interest in landscape-creating 
ancestors, than those associated with seasonal 
behaviour. The mythological accounts of 
Waiyungari, Ngurunderi and Nepeli are linked to 
the extent that it is not possible to entirely 
separate them. For example, in the Waiyungari 
mythology there is some variation in the identity 
of the angry man who made the fires. It is 
sometimes a man named Pungngane or Nepeli and 
in one case it is Ngurunderi. In the latter case, it is 
likely that this is the result of a mistake by the 
publisher. 22 Waiyungari and Nepeli were generally 
considered to be brothers, although one source 
had the former as the nephew of the latter. In the 
case of Ngurunderi, he was often said to be 
Nepeli 's brother in-law, although it is not stated 
whether he has the same relationship with 
Waiyungari. The kinship links also fan out to the 
north east of the Lower Murray towards the 
Darling River (see Berndt 1974: 25-27; Clarke 
1995: 150). For instance, Ngurunderi's wives are 
also said to be the Bakindji sisters originally 
married to Tulu, who was the Kingfisher spirit 
killed in the Eaglehawk and Crow myth. Nepeli 
was also said to be the same being as the Nureli 
'All-Father' spirit ancestor from further upriver. 
Rather than a high level of consistency in the 
mythology across the Lower Murray region, the 
roles of the ancestors were often interchangeable. 
Their actions were sometimes complementary, 
and at other times apparently antagonistic. For 
these reasons, they are best treated together as a 
myth complex, rather than as individual accounts 
of the landscape. The Berndts propose that whilst 
Ngurunderi's influence upon the Lower Murray 
people was perceived by them as mainly spiritual, 
that of Waiyungari was chiefly physical, with his 
sexual activity increasing the fertility of all natural 
species. 23 

Waiyungari Myths As European 'Stories' 
Aboriginal myths have often been used as a 



For instance, the Pulyallana mythology of Eyre Peninsula involves the ancestor chasing two wives across the landscape whilst 

creating landforms (see Clarke 1997: 128). There is also a version of the Ngurunderi myth, of dubious origin, that has his two wives 

attempting to elope with another unnamed ancestor (Bonwick 1 870: 204). The chasing of two women occurs in the eagle and crow 

myths of the Maraura people, Lower Darling River, New South Wales (Tindale 1 939). White ( 1 975: 1 3 1 , 1 32) lists similar examples 

to Waiyungari of temptation in myths from across Australia. 

From a comparison between Hacket's own account (Narrung Alpha, August 1915 - personal collection of L. Padman) with that 

cited from him by Laurie (1917) there is clearly a discrepancy. In the first account (written by Hacket), the maker of the fire is 

nameless, being referred to as 'mighty man'. In the second (written by Laurie who cites Hacket), 'Nurundie' fills this apparent gap. 

Clarke (1995: 157, end note 14) noted this apparent error. 

In particular see Berndt & Berndt (1993, pp.75, 287). The sexual influence of the Marangani constellation was also perceived as 

important, but relates more to the autumn season (see Clarke 1997: 137). 



WAIYUNGARI 



61 



source of plots for stories written for a non- 
Aboriginal audience. One scholarly reader noted 
that Waiyungari appeared to be an Australian 
'natives' version of 'Jack and the Beanstalk', 
presumably referring to the climbing into the 
Skyworld episode. 24 Some versions of Waiyungari 
written for wide readership, such as those by C. P. 
Mountford (1971: 36-37) and J. Isaacs (1980: 
154-155), closely follow the outline of the 
detailed ethnographic account provided by 
Tindale (1935). Nevertheless, the geographical 
and seasonal aspects have been reduced. Stories 
written by other authors, who are discussed 
further in this section, appear to contain new 
elements that significantly alter the structure of 
the mythology. 

In the Lower Murray mythology described by 
W. Ramsay Smith (1930: 183, 331), there is the 
'Great Spirit' and lesser beings such as 
Ngurunderi, Nepeli and Waiyungari. 25 Smith 
(1930: 249-251) gives an account of Waiyungari 
in a section titled 'The Love-story of the Two 
Sisters'. As a child, Waiyungari was a gift from 
Ngurunderi to a childless widow who was 
mourning the death of her husband. Waiyungari 
was to become a 'deity', so great care was taken 
in his training and he could therefore not be given 
women in marriage. During one spring, the Mar- 
Rallang 26 sisters 'caught the spirit of the season' 
and became known to Waiyungari through them 
imitating the cry of the emu and then the 'love- 
note' of the swan. When he married the sisters, 
his 'uncle', who is not named, was angered and 
asked Nepeli to punish Waiyungari. A fire was 
made to separate Waiyungari and his two wives, 
and they fled into the lake. Waiyungari appealed 
to Nepeli for help, and then threw a spear with a 
bulrush fibre cord attached to it into Heaven. 
Nepeli caught the spear, thus allowing Waiyungari 
and the Mar-Rallang sisters to escape into the sky 
and become three stars. 

The collection of Australian myths told as 



children's stories by E. Wilson contains 'The 
Story of Wyungare' (1950: 77-84). This version 
has Waiyungari as the son of Ngeringa, a woman 
of the 'Tilmuri' or musk duck 'totem'. 
Waiyungari was a gift from Ngurunderi to 
Ngeringa, who found the baby in the branches of 
a Casuarina tree. 27 It was said that Waiyungari 
would become a great warrior, but would one day 
return to the 'Sky-Land'. His name was said to 
mean ' One- Who- Returns-To- Sky-Land'. 
Ngeringa and her son lived with other 'Narrinyeri' 
(Ngarrindjeri) people on the shore of a 'big, 
shallow sea-lake', which was presumably Lake 
Alexandrina. Waiyungari became a renowned 
hunter and was permitted to visit the men's only 
'bora-ground', where the voice of 'Kunapipi, the 
Roaring Devil-Devil' was heard. Due to his 
importance, he was given a hut and tract of 
hunting land to himself alone. Waiyungari was 
not allowed to marry. There were two young 
sisters, called 'Mar-Rallang' which reportedly 
meant 'Two-In-One', who lived on a 
neighbouring piece of land. They went to 
Waiyungari and became his wives. Wewat- 
Thelari, who was the 'chief of Waiyungari' s 
group, changed into a hawk and flew to the Sky- 
Land to consult Ngurunderi over the indiscretion. 
It was decided that the women must be driven 
away. This was attempted by starting a large 
bushfire, which drove Waiyungari and his two 
wives out onto a point in the lake. Due to the 
heat, they were forced into the water. Waiyungari 
appealed to Ngurunderi for help. He threw a spear 
with a 'magic rope' attached a long way into the 
sky. Ngurunderi caught the spear in his hands, 
and pulled up the wives and then Waiyungari. 
They were all allowed to live in the Sky-Land and 
'shine forever'. 

In A. W. Reed's (1980: 60-63) account, titled 
'The Husband and Wives Who Became Stars', 
Waiyungari was a gift to a grieving childless 
widow from the 'ruler of the heavens'. In this 



Letter from Charles Chewings to N.B. Tindale, dated 2 November 1935 (Chewings collection. AA59/1/1 . Anthropology Archives, 

S.A. Museum). 

There is some evidence to suggest that the bulk of the mythology appearing in Ramsay Smith's volume was collected by a 

Ngarrindjeri man, David Unaipon (see Jones 1990: 303-305; Clarke 1997: 142, endnote 4). P. Jones (pers. com.) suggests that 

Ramsay Smith tampered with the cultural information in Unaipon's account, when producing the published version, thereby 

reducing its reliability as an ethnographic source. 

The name Mar-Rallang appears to be derived from marrari- 'sister', and -engk- 'they two' (Meyer 1843(2): 59,78). Related forms, 

Meralang and Maralangk, were names used for the Pages Islands as sites in the Ngurunderi mythology, which were reported to mean 

the 'Two Sisters' (Berndt 1940: 181; Berndt & Bemdt 1993: 226). 

The choice of a Casuarina or sheoak tree may not have been accidental. The Casuarina tree has significance elsewhere in Lower 

Murray mythology, being the tree that Ngurunderi sat under before going into the Skyworld (Berndt 1940: 182). The large size of 

some trees allowed them to be perceived as a link between the Skyworld and terrestrial landscape (see Clarke 1997: 127,128). 



62 



P. A. CLARKE 



version, the 'ruler' was Nepeli and his servant 
was Ngurunderi. As a young man, Waiyungari 
was initiated. He met the Mar-rallang (Mar- 
Rallang) sisters who called to him separately: one 
of whom was imitating the cry of an emu, the 
other the mating call of a swan. Waiyungari 
married them both. Nepeli considered this to be a 
illicit union between 'spirits of heaven' with 
'daughters of the earth'. Ngurunderi was 
commanded to separate Waiyungari and the 
sisters, which was done by fire that pursued them 
into a shallow swamp. When the surrounding 
rushes began to burn, Waiyungari had the women 
climb onto his spear which he threw into the sky 
'like a star that had mistaken its direction and was 
fleeing from earth', leaving himself behind. Due 
to his heroic act, Nepeli took pity on him and his 
spirit was lifted to join the two wives in living in 
the heavens, as three stars. 

The popular accounts mentioned above are of 
mixed value as ethnographic sources of 
Aboriginal mythology. Some elements in Ramsay 
Smith's version relate closely to accounts of the 
mythology produced by anthropologists, although 
there are points where it differs significantly. For 
instance, the seasonal aspect of the story is 
important. Ramsay Smith (1930: 250) stated: 

The spring-time of the year is a great time in the 
training of the young people of the tribe. They are 
taught to become quick and observant in detecting 
the different love-notes of the wooing birds, and the 
mating impulses of the animals. 

The impact of this time of the year on all people 
and creatures is a strong feature of this account. 
Nevertheless, there is no mention here of the 
narambi status of young men in providing a 
reason why the relationship between Waiyungari 
and the sisters was prohibited. The absence of 
ochre leads to the final destination of Waiyungari 
in the heavens as simply as a star, and not Mars (a 
red planet). 

In the case of the Wilson account, the elements 
introduced have been appropriated from 
Aboriginal cultures elsewhere in Australia. The 
use of 'bora-ground' and Kunapipi are obvious 
inclusions from New South Wales and Arnhem 
Land respectively. 28 The use of Tilmuri ('Musk 



Duck'), Tinneware ('Bream'), and Ponde ('the 
Big Cod') are consistent with a Lower Murray 
origin of this account. 29 Other words, such as 
Milla-Milla ('child'), Bulwarra ('Pelican'), Dondu 
('Black Swan'), Towrie (land), gunyah (shelter, 
hut), Ngurrung-Ngura ('the Red Sunset'), Gur- 
Gur ('Hawk'), and the phrase 'Hala-hala mai, 
oknira bata' ('Come here, great Teacher; here you 
and your wives shall live and shine forever!'), are 
not. 30 The gift of a baby to a childless woman by 
Ngurunderi, who appears to be a high god, has 
some resemblance to Christian beliefs concerning 
the birth of Jesus. In this respect, there appears to 
be some similarity with the Moriarty account 
published by Taplin. The uncertainty over the 
sources of Aboriginal ethnographic data and the 
lack of place names in such accounts militates 
against their use in describing local Aboriginal 
cultural landscapes. 

There is a similarity in story structure and word 
usage between the accounts of Reed and Ramsay 
Smith (1930). Nonetheless, the roles of the three 
main characters in Reed's version is somewhat 
distorted from the main ethnographic accounts 
and popular accounts given above, with Nepeli 
given primacy over a subordinate Ngurunderi. The 
method of the women gaining access to the 
Skyworld is also different, involving one spear 
rather than many or, as with Ramsay Smith, with 
one spear and a cord. In Reed's account, the 
stated principal that prevented the marriage 
between Waiyungari and the sisters was the 
prohibition between the union between beings of 
different landscapes. The apparent replacement of 
the reason being initiate prohibitions with that of 
a type of taboo prohibiting unions between gods 
and mortals suggests that the author introduced 
this element, perhaps borrowed from classical 
Greek and Roman mythology. The impetus for 
changing the basic story may have come from the 
author's desire to create some original work. 

The Waiyungari myth has had an impact upon 
the local place-names around Point McLeay. 
Pulawelwal Hill is a large mound situated 
between the Narrung township (near Point 
McLeay) and the Mann Cemetery on the road to 
Mark Point. The hill was sign-posted in the late 



See Bemdt (1970, 1974). 

Taplin (1879: 40,130) lists all these terms. 

These are either words derived by the writer or terms obtained from Aboriginal languages in eastern and northern Australia. 



WAIYUNGARI 



63 




FIGURE 3. A Point McLeay resident, Susan Rankine, 
at 'Pulluwewal', 'Wyungare's Hill' (Photo: P. A. 
Clarke, 1990). 



1980s by Narrung farmers as 'Pulluwewal', 
'Wyungare's hill' (Fig.3). 31 Apparently, earlier 
this century a local farmer whose paddock 
covered most of the hill was in the habit of calling 
all his cows with names starting with 
'Pulluwewal', for example 'Pulluwewal Daisy', 
'Pulluwewal Mary' etc (L. Padman, pers. com). 
The reinstating of the Aboriginal name for the hill 
therefore commemorates both Aboriginal and 
non-Aboriginal traditions. Wangarawar, the place 
in the myth where the wives first saw Waiyungari, 
is a point jutting into Lake Alexandrina on the 



north side of the Point McLeay township. This 
name is still used by Aboriginal residents and it 
appears on published local maps. Raukkan (a 
version of Rauwoke) is the local name for the 
area of the Point McLeay settlement, which is on 
the side of the hill where in mythology Nepeli 
lived. This has been used consistently by 
Aboriginal people since European settlement.- 12 
Several years ago this Aboriginal place-name 
officially replaced Point McLeay as the town 
name. 

For eleven years, between 1988 and 1999, the 
major Aboriginal cultural exhibition at the South 
Australian Museum was 'Ngurunderi: a 
Ngarrindjeri Dreaming'. This took the theme of 
the Ngurunderi mythology and used it as a display 
device to describe the Ngarrindjeri culture of the 
Lower Murray region. The exhibition and the 
associated film have been a significant influence 
on public attitudes towards Aboriginal cultures in 
south-eastern Australia. The impact of these upon 
primary and secondary school curricula and 
university Aboriginal studies has also been 
significant. 33 This exhibition has been a successful 
exercise, judged in terms of giving the broader 
population an appreciation of the cultural 
complexity of a particular Aboriginal group. 
Nevertheless, although the ethnographic literature 
clearly gives Ngurunderi primacy, the result of 
this bias in the perceptions of people in more 
recent times is to underplay or ignore altogether 
the important roles of other beings, such as 
Waiyungari, in Lower Murray mythology. 



Conclusion 

In Lower Murray cosmology the spirit ancestor, 
Waiyungari, was important at the onset of spring 
to help bring about the change of seasons. 
Aboriginal people perceived that the fertility of 
their region relied upon this ancestor and the 



This placename has been listed by a number of recorders: Pulluwewal - 'at the house'; a spot near Point McLeay and said to be 

'Waiungare's house' (Taplin 1874 [1879: 55,56,130]); Pulluwewal -isthmus between Lake Alexandrina and Lake Albert (Ramsay 

Smith 1930: 249); Pul:uwewal - camp of the spirit ancestor Waijungari (Tindale site recording map, Anthropology Archives, S.A 

Museum); Puleweiwald - Waiyungari's camp (Bemdt & Berndt 1993: 191,228,317,400,442,443). 

There are number of variations of the placename, Raukkan. These include Rauukki, Rauwoke - 'the ancient way' ; Point McLeay 

(Taplin 1874 [1879: 56,57,130,139,140]); Rewuk- Point McLeay (Yallop & Grimwade 1975, map and p. 100); Rawukung - Point 

McLeay, site of the mission and primary living area of the Retjerindjeri clans people before mission established (Tindale site 

recording map. Anthropology Archives, S.A Museum); Rawukung - Raukkan (Bemdt & Bemdt 1993). 

For the exhibition booklet see Hemming & Jones (1 989). Hemming ( 1 988) describes the making of the film. Clarke (1995) discusses 

aspects the changing role of the Ngurunderi mythology. Examples of school use are seen in Education Department of South Australia 

(1990, 1991). 



64 



P. A. CLARKE 



forces associated with him. His appearance in the 
sky was a marker of the arrival of the breeding 
seasons of animals and the beginning of the 
growth period for many plants. Firing the 
landscape was an important part of this 
regeneration. Waiyungari's influence was not 
restricted to animals and plants, but was important 
to people as well. Initiates were symbolically 
linked to the Waiyungari mythology. The 
ethnographic accounts of Waiyungari demonstrate 
the same range of variation in detail as previously 
discussed for other south-eastern Australian 
myths. The Waiyungari mythology appears to be 
chiefly relevant to the area bounded by Naming 
Peninsula and Lake Albert Passage in terms of 
sites, and is therefore not of the same order in 
landscape modifications as, for instance, with 
Ngurunderi. Nevertheless, there are linkages with 
Waiyungari to the mythologies of Ngurunderi and 
other major spirit ancestors to the north east. The 
use of Waiyungari in popular writings has largely 



stripped out the important mythological elements 
that explained local Aboriginal perceptions of 
their land. This component of the literature is 
unreliable as an ethnographic source, and is best 
treated as fiction written for a non-Aboriginal 
readership with a partial relationship to 
Aboriginal cultural landscapes. Nevertheless, 
Aboriginal mythology is important to a much 
wider audience, forming a basis to investigate the 
Indigenous background of Australian culture. As 
the present cultural contexts for this mythology 
change, Waiyungari may yet re-emerge as an 
important vehicle for discovering the Aboriginal 
cultural landscape. 

Acknowledgments 

This paper is based on material appearing in the 
author's Ph.D. thesis, which was supervised by Chris 
Anderson, Peter Smailes and Kingsley Garbett. Philip 
Jones commented on drafts of this article in detail. 



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THE PACIFIC CULTURES GALLERY* IN THE SOUTH AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM 



CARSTEN HENN AND BARRY CRAIG 



HENN, C. & CRAIG, B. 1999. The Pacific Cultures Gallery in the South Australian Museum. 
Records of the South Australian Museum 32(1): 69-89. 

This paper recounts the history of the Pacific exhibits in the South Australian Museum, 
focussing after 1 895 on those exhibits located on the top floor of the North Wing. This space 
has become known as the Pacific Cultures Gallery even though natural science exhibits have 
shared the space. Over the decades there has been a consistent evolution of the display until 
now, just over a century after the opening of the North Wing, the opportunity exists for the 
Gallery to be devoted solely to the display of Pacific cultural material. 

Carsten Henn, MatfhiasstraBe 65, 50354 Hiirth, Germany. Barry Craig, Department of 
Anthropology, South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000. Manuscript 
received 2 November 1998. 



Pacific Foundations 

From its foundation in 1856, the South 
Australian Museum has had a strong and 
continuing interest in the Pacific. 

It was in 1860 that the Museum secured as a 
donation from William Owen, M.P. a large series of 
articles from Fiji, including tapa cloth, clubs, spears 
and clothing, and also some Malayan models of 
pirate praus; thus, as far as can be ascertained, the 
Museum secured the first of its now extensive 
Pacific Island and Indonesian collections (Hale 
1956: 12). 

One of the first exhibits of this museum was a 
display of Fijian material. 

[William] Owen's collection of Fijian "curiosities", 
installed in a special "Fijeean room", was the 
centrepiece of the museum's ethnographic exhibits 
when it opened to the public for the first time [on 2 
January 1862]. By the 1860s Australian Aborigines 
and their objects no longer retained their capacity to 
evoke the exotic from the inhabitants of Adelaide - 
this role was filled by Pacific artifacts, particularly 
those from Fiji. Owen's Fijian collection was 
complemented by New Caledonian objects . . . 
contributed by Robert Gouger' (Jones 1993: 21). 



Note: The Pacific Gallery is closed for renovations 
and will reopen in March/ April 2000. 



Elsewhere Jones (1996b: 28) informs us that 
'Among the ethnographic objects it was the Fijian 
rather than the Aboriginal artefacts which evoked 
most critical and public interest' and Hale (1956: 
13) noted that, 'the Fijian collections had been 
exhibited from time to time' even before the 
Museum opened in the South Australian Institute 
building in 1862. 

The Institute building soon became 
overcrowded for its three functions as Museum, 
Library and Art Gallery and in 1 878 a complex to 
the east of the existing building was planned. This 
was to consist of four multi-storied structures set 
around a courtyard (ibid., Plate oppos. p.35), only 
two of which have been built. The westernmost 
wing was commenced in November 1 879 and was 
occupied progressively until its official opening 
in December 1884 as the Jervois (or West) Wing. 2 
Each of the cultural institutions occupied about a 
third of the space in the new building. Dr Wilhelm 
Haacke was appointed as the first Director of 'The 
South Australian Museum' in February 1883 and 
began a vigorous program of expansion of the 
functions and collections of the Museum (ibid.: 
39ff). 

Amandus Heinrich Christian Zietz (Fig. 1) was 
engaged as a preparator in 1884 and by 1888 had 
progressed to Assistant Director under Stirling 
who, as Chairman of the Museum Committee, 
was acting unofficially as the Director following 



Gouger's collection is not identifiable in the present collections; labels were lost from many objects before registration was formally 
commenced in 1911 and where objects could not be matched with various lists they were labelled 'Old Collection*. 
In 1884 the South Australian Institute became the Public Library, Museum and Art Gallery of South Australia. This arrangement 
was not changed until separation of each institution by Acts of State Parliament in 1939. 



70 



C. HENN & B. CRAIG 




FIGURE 1. Amandus Hcinrich Christian Zictz (from 
Hale 1956, oppos. p.41). 



the departure of Haacke in 1884. 3 Zietz, born in 
Denmark, had previously been a preparator and 
then a curator at the Zoological Institute Museum 
at Kiel, interested mainly in birds and fishes, and 
became 'right hand man to Stirling for 25 years' 
(Hale 1956: 41). Edward Charles Stirling (Fig. 2) 
was appointed Honorary Director in 1889, 
confirming the role he had been playing 
unofficially. 

As a result of Haacke's short but energetic 
Directorship, the Museum had quickly outgrown 
its accommodation. By 1883 the Museum's 
ethnological collection had been boosted by other 
Pacific material from New Guinea (ibid.: 42). 
Although in 1884 'ethnological material from Fiji 
and the southeast of New Guinea was in hand, but 
very little other Pacific Islands material' (ibid.: 



46), by 1887 this ratio had changed in such a way 
that Zietz was able to state that 'the New Guinea 
collection now forms the most noteworthy part of 
the ethnological collection' (Annual Report of 
1886-87: 19). 

A detailed inventory by Zietz can be found in 
the Annual Report 1887-88: 18: 

Fiji represented by about 100 specimens; . . . 
Solomon Islands represented by about 23 
specimens; New Britain Islands represented by 
about 80 specimens; . . . New Guinea Islands 
represented by about 300 specimens; Australia 
(including all the colonies) about 400 specimens, 
exclusive spears. . . . Nearly the whole of the Fijian 
collection was presented by W. Owen, Esq., and 




FIGURE 2. Edward Charles Stirling (from Hale 1956, 
oppos. p. 51). 



One of the reasons for Haacke's untimely departure was some dissatisfaction with his readiness to send specimens to other 
institutions abroad- Hale notes ( 1 956: 47 ) that among these were ' Fijian collections said to have been sent to Germany (apparently 
most of the William Owen collection, donated in 1 860)' - It is also of interest that after he left the Museum, Haacke joined the ' Bonito' 
expedition to Papua sponsored by the Royal Geographical Society of Australia, which spent June to December 1885 exploring the 
Slnckland River, a tributary of the Fly. The ethnographic collections from this expedition were lodged in the Colonial (now State) 
museums in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. 



THE PACIFIC CULTURES GALLERY 



71 



contains many valuable specimens. New Guinea, 
represented by about 300 specimens, forms 
undoubtedly the most attractive and valuable part of 
the whole collection . . . Some sketches, showing 
native houses, villages, and scenery, are included in 
the collection, but photographs of the Papuans are 
still wanted. 

Jones (1996b: 55-63) attributes the marked 
increase in South Australian interest in 
ethnographic material during the 1880s to the 
popularity of the International Exhibitions 
(especially South Australia's constribution to the 
Colonial and Indian Exhibition in London in 
1886) and their counterparts in Sydney, 
Melbourne and Adelaide. Hale (1956: 64) 
especially remarks on the Jubilee Exhibition in 
Adelaide in 1887, for which a special building 
was erected on North Terrace and which featured 
'a splendid collection of Malayan products, 
including a complete series of ethnological 
objects' provided by the Sultan of Johore, and 
'good New Guinea ethnological material - the 
Theodore Bevan collections from "the Douglas 
and Jubilee Rivers'"; both collections were 
obtained for the Museum after the Exhibition 
closed. 

The Exhibitions elevated the notion of civilisation's 
progress by means of sophistication in technology. 
It was natural that the tools and weapons of 'savage' 
societies would be regarded in juxtaposition to this 
sophistication, providing a measure of progress for 
the throngs of visitors (Jones 1996b: 57). 



The Museum's North Wing - 'a building 
provided solely for its purpose' 

Stirling kept abreast of museum developments 
abroad and embraced the taxonomic classification 
system which treated ethnographic material in 
much the same way as natural history specimens. 
Thus he 'became aware of the potential for filling 
those gaps in collections which taxonomic 
systems made evident' (ibid.: 64). Ethnographic 
material was classified primarily on the basis of 
object type and presented by geographic regions 



to facilitate comparison. This motivated Stirling 
to seek out specimens from geographic areas not 
hitherto represented in the Museum's collections. 
To supplement the Australian Aboriginal 
ethnographic collections he issued a circular to 
police and telegraph officers during the mid- 
1890s appealing for material (ibid.: 196) and 
several Lutheran missionaries provided well- 
documented Aboriginal material around the turn 
of the century. Stirling also obtained several 
Pacific collections from Anglican, Presbyterean 
and Methodist missionaries based in Adelaide but 
these were usually poorly documented. 

All this activity rapidly increased the size of the 
Museum's ethnographic collection and Stirling 
worked energetically to gain new space for the 
Museum. This was accomplished by the 
construction of a building where the north wing 
of the cultural institutions complex was meant to 
be located but there were insufficient funds to 
build in the style of the first structure (the Jervois 
Wing). 4 Meanwhile, in 1889, the Art Gallery was 
moved out of the Jervois Wing into the Jubilee 
Exhibition Building 5 further to the east on North 
Terrace. 

In January 1895, the North Wing 6 was officially 
opened (Hale 1956: 69). This was a modest red- 
brick structure with a ground floor and an upper 
floor gained by an impressive staircase. Two large 
light wells in the upper floor allowed light from a 
glass roof to illuminate the ground floor (Fig. 3). 
This same year Stirling was appointed salaried 
Director, a position he retained until 1913. 

Regarding the move of the collections when the 
building work had finished, Jones writes (1993: 
27): 

[Stirling's] organization of the transfer of museum 
collections from the Jervois Wing to the new North 
Wing of the Museum in 1893 enabled him to further 
gauge the strengths and weaknesses of the Pacific 
collections. 

Although Stirling undoubtedly provided overall 
direction of the operation, Hale (1956: 72-3) 
attributes much of the detailed work to Zietz: 

So rapid was the progress in occupying the two 



Presently occupied by the Mortlock Library, a part of the State Library. 

Although arguments were put to government in 1882 to complete the building of the four wings of the cultural institutions as 

proposed in 1 878, to house the Jubilee exhibitions of 1887 and then use these buildings for the Library, Museum and Art Gallery, 

this was not done (Hale 1956: 69). Instead the Jubilee Building was constructed and after the 1887 Exhibition was used for a number 

of purposes, finally being demolished in the 1960s to make way for a University of Adelaide underground car park. 

The North Wing is sometimes referred to as the West Wing in Reports and correspondence. Although it was the North Wing in the 

original 1878 plan it was thought of as the West Wing when the Museum's second (East) wing was built. 



72 



C. HENN & B. CRAIG 



■ : : :. :::: ;::-.-V: ■;■;:;. 



'-'''.'■.'■; 




' ■rim* 



FIGURE 3. Photograph of top floor. West (ie. North) Wing, 31 November 1899 by Mr A. Treichel; view from 
eastern end of Gallery looking west; eastern lightwell in mid-ground and 'Bridge Case' in centre of Gallery. Note 
Fijian exhibit in south-western corner where it has remained to this day. 



floors of this building, 230 feet in length, and so 
pleasing was the arrangement to Stirling, that he 
enthusiastically reported to his committee that Zietz, 
'on whom fell the chief labour of the removal and 
rearrangement of the collections has dealt with this 
tedious and arduous undertaking with an intelligent 
energy that deserves commendation'. 

The Pacific Islands displays at that time were 
only a small part of the total exhibitions but they 
have expanded and evolved in that space ever 
since. Hale records (ibid.: 81): 

The Pacific Island ethnological material had so 
increased by 1898 that it occupied the whole of the 
wall cases on the southern side of the Museum. This 
was soon augmented by Fijian weapons and tools. 
133 in all. presented by James Angas Johnson 7 

However, the collection was far from being 
arranged in a pedagogically sensible way. Most 



exhibits lacked labels. As a result, visitors neither 
knew where exactly the specimens hailed from 
nor what they were in the first place: 'The 
ethnological cases are so congested that a 
systematic or scientific arrangement, or any 
descriptive labelling, is quite impossible' (Stirling 
in Annual Report 1902-03: 9). 

Missing labels, though, were a shortcoming 
which could be set right with comparatively small 
financial means. Zietz, responsible for the 
ethnological department as Assistant Director 
from 1888-1909, wrote: 'The Fijian Collection 
has been temporarily re-arranged and printed 
labels attached to the specimens' (ibid.). 

Thus it appears that the installation of the 
Pacific Cultures Gallery on the upper floor of the 
North Wing was largely the work of Zietz, 
presumably with some general direction from 



Johnson obtained the collection on behalf of the Museum from Mr D. Garner Jones of Levuka, Fiji, in 1900. The most valuable of 
these hems is a headrest {kali), A.7313, which 'Belonged to Tanoa, King of Fiji'. 



THE PACIFIC CULTURES GALLERY 



73 




FIGURE 4. Edgar Ravens wood Waite (from Hale 1956. 
oppos. p.95). 



Stirling. Amandus Zietz retired in December 1909 
and his son, Robert, took up his father's duties in 
ornithology." 

At the end of 1912, after 32 years of working at 
various posts at the South Australian Museum, 
Stirling resigned from his position as Director but 
continued for a short time as Honorary Director. 
In 1914, Edgar Ravenswood Waite (Fig. 4) took 
over as Director (Hale 1956: 95-6); Stirling 
concentrated on the displays of Australian and 
Pacific ethnography 'and continued to exert 
strong influence within the institution as Honorary 
Curator of Ethnology until his death in 1919' 
(Jones 1993: 27). It was during this period that 
Stirling put his mark on the Pacific Gallery 
exhibits. 

The famous anthropologist, Bronislaw 
Malinowski, who had extensive knowledge of the 
Melanesian region and especially of its trade 
relations, had a brief association with the 
Museum, Jones reports (1993: 27): 



Stirling was . . . [indirectly] responsible for the 
acquisition of at least one item attributable to the 
anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski . . . This 
object, a 'woman's dress' (A.7703), was deposited 
in the Museum collection by Edward Stirling's 
daughter, Nina, to whom Malinowski had become 
briefly engaged during his stay in Adelaide at the 
Stirrings' Mt. Lofty home in 1914. 

It is most likely that Malinowski visited the 
Pacific displays and made comments on them. 
However, it remains uncertain to what extent 
Stirling would have been influenced by these 
comments in the re-arrangement which was 
conducted only a few years later. 



The Museum's East Wing - 
Court' 



'The Australian 



The possibility of a re-structuring arose in 1915 
with the opening of the East Wing 9 (Fig. 5) of the 
museum, which became known as 'the Australian 
Court'. 

Exhibition space on the galleries was now almost 
trebled and for the first time in the history of the 
Museum it was possible, for a while, to segregate 
the Australian material from the extra-Australian or 
so-called 'general collections' (Hale 1956: 103). 

It was this re-organisation of museum exhibits 
which made space for the expansion of the Pacific 
exhibits and their occupation, eventually, of all 
the wall cases on the upper level of the North 
Wing (ibid: 107). 

Over-crowding of the cases was a problem 
alluded to repeatedly in Annual Reports. Because 
there was inadequate provision for storage of 
reserve collections, the safest course was to put as 
much as possible on display, where the condition 
of the objects could be monitored. The only other 
solution would have been to create more space in 
the galleries and it was not possible to consider 
increasing floor space by filling in the light-wells 
until illumination of cases by cheap electric 
lighting became feasible with the general 
availability of fluorescent tubes. Still, Stirling 
tried to make the most of the situation, to improve 
the displays and to make them ethnologically 
more sensible. 



Several years later, Robert Zietz was also given the task of registering all the ethnological specimens on display, which took three 
years to accomplish (Hale 1956: 107) hut there is no indication that he was involved in reorganising the Pacific displays. 
The East Wing was designed to match the style of the Jervois Wing which by then was completely occupied by the State Library. 
Thus half of the original 1878 plan was executed (Hale 1956: 97). 



74 



C. HENN & B. CRAIG 




FIGURE 5. The East Wing of the South Australian Museum; North Wing to left. 



In 1917, he re-arranged the material from Fiji 
yet again: 

Fiji - This series, containing some very valuable 
specimens collected in the old days, and now not 
procurable, which was before very overcrowded, has 
been rearranged to better advantage, but the cases 
are even now still rather congested (Stirling in 
Annual Report 1916-17: 13). 

However, it was still impossible to structure the 
gallery systematically. All Stirling could really do 
was fill 'gaps' with newly acquired material 
which was kept safest in the display cases. It is 
hardly surprising that it was not always possible 
under these circumstances to integrate the 
specimens in a regionally or thematically correct 
way. 

On the days of writing I am engaged on the work of 
their arrangement [i.e. of some newly acquired 
specimens from New Guinea] and, though an 
interesting exhibit may be possible, it is evident that 
all the specimens cannot be placed on view. This is 



unfortunate, as they are interesting, attractive, and 
intrinsically good. In any case, owing the want of 
sufficient and suitable cases, a systematic 
arrangement cannot be strictly followed (ibid.). 

It was another ten years after the East Wing 
was opened to the public in 1915 before all the 
Australian ethnological material was removed 
from the North Wing allowing more Pacific 
exhibits the use of the space. 10 In the Annual 
Report 1917-18: 10, Waite wrote: 

The gallery of this court [ie. the upper level of the 
North Wing] is devoted mainly to Ethnology; about 
half the space is occupied with the overflow from 
the Australian court, the remainder accommodating 
the Pacific Islands material, of which we possess a 
very unequal display. Advantage was taken of about 
30 small hanging wall cases to house some of the 
more remarkable or beautiful objects of native 
manufacture. 

The small hanging wall cases Waite 
mentioned," as well as another re-arrangement, 



,0 Upon completion of the East Wing, the available space had to be shared with some of the collections of the Art Gallery, curtailing 
the building's use for Museum purposes until the completion of the Art Gallery's Melrose Wing in 1937 (Stirling 1956: 147). 

1 ' These small 'hanging wall cases' may have been those located above the main wall cases along the north wall of the Gallery. These 
were criticised several years later by a visiting overseas museum professional as being too high for people to see their contents 
clearly. 



THE PACIFIC CULTURES GALLERY 



75 



were the last things Stirling was occupied with 
before his death in 1919: 

The time at my disposal during the past year has 
been almost exclusively devoted to the re- 
arrangement of the Papuan, Melanesian, and 
Polynesian collections in the gallery of the General 
Court. With the specimens from these localities 
formerly displayed there have now been 
incorporated the valuable and extensive series of 
stone clubs, ceremonial, and other articles from 
Papua presented by Major Balfour Ogilvy, which 
form a notable addition. Various other similar 
collections acquired by donation from other sources 
and by purchase have also been similarly 
incorporated. The result of these additions is that 
the collections from the regions mentioned have 
been very considerably augmented, both in number 
and value. About 2 200 specimens in this category 
have been catalogued and placed on exhibition. By 
the re-arrangement these objects, many of them of a 
striking character, are now shown more effectively 
and somewhat more methodically than was 
previously the case. It is, however, admitted that the 
cases are still undesirably overcrowded, and, owing 
to the stringent limitations of space, it has been 
found impossible to adhere strictly to a geographical 
classification, which would have been highly 
desirable. However, under existing conditions, 
nothing better could be done. The main advantage 
gained is, that the specimens in question, many of 
them of a fragile or perishable nature, can now be 
constantly kept under observation, so that we shall 
be free from the anxieties as to the fate of articles 
that are packed up and stored (ibid.). 

No doubt a major impetus for the expansion of 
the Pacific exhibits in the post-World War One 
period was the collecting expedition by Edgar 
Waite to the Bismarck Archipelago of New 
Guinea for four months in 1918 (Craig 1995; Hale 
1956: 115-116; Jones 1992), following Australia's 
military occupation of German New Guinea in 
1914. 'Waite brought back with him collections 
which occupied six tons of shipping space' (Hale 
1956: 115). These collections consisted of both 
natural history and ethnographic specimens. 

The ethnographic material collected by Waite is 
today prominently represented in the Pacific 
Gallery, particularly in the New Ireland displays. 
Other collections from New Guinea were obtained 
from officers (e.g. Major H. L. S. Balfour Ogilvy) 
serving there with the Australian Military 
Expeditionary Force, some of whom (e.g. Captain 
A. J. Hunter) stayed on as District Officers when 
civil administration resumed after the conclusion 
of the War. 

On 20 March 1919, Sir Edward Stirling died. 
He left a legacy of an amazing 10 000 Australian 



Aboriginal and Pacific ethnological specimens on 
exhibition (ibid.: 107). Temporarily, Director 
Waite took over the Department of Ethnology and 
had soon to admit: 

Your Director is . . . responsible for the care and 
conduct of the Ethnological collections formerly 
controlled by the late Sir Edward Stirling; it cannot 
be surprising, therefore, if he is unable to produce 
much evidence of scientific research (Annual Report 
1920-1921: 9). 

Despite his increased responsibilities, Waite 
launched a project in 1 920 which indirectly led to 
the upper level of the North Wing being stocked 
exclusively with ethnological exhibits from the 
Pacific, although the mineral exhibits remained. 
In the Annual Report 1919-20: 10, Waite set out 
his plan: 

Of these needs the following are the principal . . . 
The complete fitting with cases of the annexe to the 
Stirling Gallery of Australian Ethnology. The space 
thus obtained would relieve the General Court 
[North Wing] of the Australian weapons there 
exhibited, and permit of much valuable material 
from the Pacific Islands being shown. 

It is hard to date precisely, from the archival 
sources available, when the Pacific Gallery had 
expanded to the point where it 'occupied the wall 
cases on all sides of the upper floor' (Hale 1956: 
107), but Hale comments upon it immediately 
after noting that 'the Australian ethnologia from 
the north wing was removed in 1924' (ibid.). 
Probably it took place progressively over the next 
year or so. Waite, in the Annual Report 1924-25: 
1 1 , stated: 

The space set free rendered it possible to re-arrange 
considerably the general collection, and to add many 
fine exhibits, including specimens obtained by the 
Director, in 1918, in New Guinea, New Britain, and 
especially New Ireland. 

In 1928, Waite died on his way to a Science 
Congress in Hobart, Tasmania. Herbert Hale was 
appointed 'Museum Curator' after applying for 
the position of Director and three years later, in 
1931, was appointed Director. Also in 1928, 
Norman Barnett Tindale (Fig. 6), the next person 
to have a significant impact on the Pacific 
Gallery, became the museum's ethnologist (Hale 
1956: 138; Jones 1996a). He had started at the 
museum in 1918 in the entomological section 
(under a kind of apprenticeship rather than as an 
academic student) but within a few years had 
developed an interest in ethnology as well. 

Tindale's first experience in collecting 
ethnographic material was in 1921-2 on Groote 



76 



C. HENN & B. CRAIG 




FIGURE 6 Norman Barnett Tindale 



Eylandt. In preparation for this work, he consulted 
with Baldwin Spencer in Melbourne, who gave 
him his own copy of the 1912 edition of Notes 
and Queries on Anthropology (Jones 1996b: 336). 
Jones describes Tindale' s theoretical position as: 

... a salvage ethnographer from a natural science 
background ... in the same company as Alfred Cort 
Haddon. Baldwin Spencer, or more appositely, 
Franz Boas. But despite sharing his [Boas's] 
relativist perspective, placing ethnographic objects 
within their specific cultural contexts, Tindale never 
repudiated evolutionist theory as Boas had done. In 
fact, Tindale's application of natural science 
taxonomic principles to ethnographic collections 
and exhibitions . . . more clearly echoed the career 
and achievements of the Smithsonian Institution's 
Otis B. Mason (ibid.: 337). 

With regard to his responsibilities for the 
Pacific exhibits, Tindale had to deal with a lot of 
difficulties. Apart from the lack of space, the 
South Australian Museum had further problems. 
In the 1933 Report on the Museums & Art 
Galleries of Australia, sponsored by the Carnegie 
Corporation of New York, the lighting in the 



museum was criticized (Markham & Richards 
1933: 43f.): 

In the Australian Museum a particularly notable 
exhibit is the New Guinea Ravi. In the Tasmanian 
Museum the aboriginal habitat case is delightful and 
attractive in every way. Somewhat similar cases are 
to be found in the Brisbane, Adelaide and 
Melbourne Museums, but the last two are spoilt by 
unfortunate lighting, resulting in excessive 
reflections. 

After Waite expanded Stirling and Zietz's 
arrangement of specimens in the Pacific Cultures 
Gallery, little seems to have been changed until 
after World War II. Paul Lawson came to the 
Museum's team in 1936 as lunch attendant but 
after the War he was employed in the Exhibitions 
section. In an interview, 19 June 1997, he related: 

There was very little movement ... in the layout of 
the specimens prior to the War. Except when Frank 
Tose from the Californian Academy of Sciences 
came out here, and he made quite a few suggestions 
about better visibility in the East Wing. He made 
some suggestions and we followed those, and in 
what we call the West Wing, now the North Wing 
. . He made his suggestions on the grounds that 
eye-level material was valuable and [the] other was 
lost . . . The cases on the north wall that were above 
the main [wall] cases he considered were 
superfluous [because] he couldn't see the 
specimens. And we know that those specimens 
originally were put in those cases for visible storage 
because there was no other space around the area 
where you could store the stuff. When those cases 
were disbanded we used [them] in various ways, but 
the material had to be stored ... I don't recall any 
dramatic changes until post-War days. 



The War - Removal To Sleeps Hill Tunnel 

Alarmed by the Japanese attack on Pearl 
Harbour on 7 December 1941, the South 
Australian Museum took steps to protect its 
collections in case of air raids. After some time 
looking for an adequate storage place for the 
collections' most valuable pieces, an abandoned 
railway tunnel was identified at Sleeps Hill, south 
of the City. However, to this day it remains 
unclear which parts of the collections were chosen 
for safe-keeping. In a letter to Hale dated 31 
December 1941, Tindale wrote: 

In preparing the above list of material, it has been 
estimated that the only practicable method of 
dividing the general collections is to take each 
alternate specimen, or each alternate container, 
leaving the other in position. By this means, 



THE PACIFIC CULTURES GALLERY 



77 



sufficient material will remain on display, and the 
division will ensure that the risk is halved. 

Paul Lawson, who went to the War before the 
specimens were removed to the Sleeps Hill tunnel, 
and came back after they had been returned, 
understood that the division had been carried out 
on other grounds (Interview, 19 June 1997): 

They took any material off display that was 
considered extremely valuable. It couldn't all go, 
but the reference collections 12 . . . went up there 
because they are really the key. 

This seems to be confirmed by the following 
excerpt from Tindale's letter to Hale, quoted 
above, which also gives an idea of the quantity of 
material that had to be transported: 

1 have made an inventory of the material in this 
Museum which it seems desirable should be placed 
in safe keeping in a war emergency. I have divided 
the list into two, namely (a) Essential Documentary 
Records, (b) List of the Total Weights and Cubic 
Measurements (net), of the irreplaceable or unique 
specimens in the collection. 

In this survey I have taken into special account the 
Ethnological collections, most of which belong to 
peoples now extinct . . . Ethnology 700 Cub. ft. 6 
tons; Ethnology Gallery Annexe 300 Cub. ft. 3 tons; 
Australian Ethnology Store 900 Cub. ft. 8 tons; 
Australian Crania 150 Cub. ft. 1/2 tons; 
Ethnological General Court 1200 Cub. ft. 10 tons." 

It is surprising that although this transport must 
have called for so much work, time and planning, 
few records of it can be found. One reason for 
this might be that the documents were lost during 
the disruptions of wartime, another that they are 
stored somewhere as confidential documents, or 
perhaps they are yet to be found in the still-not- 
completely-explored archives of the Museum. 

In January 1942, Tindale left the South 
Australian Museum 'to act as an interpreter [in 
the R.A.A.F.] in the Japanese language of which I 
have rather extensive knowledge' (Tindale to 
Director Hale, 13 January 1942). In his absence, 
Harold Cooper was appointed on a part-time basis 
as Assistant Ethnologist (Hale 1956: 172). 

Although nothing had been transported to the 
Sleeps Hill tunnel at the time of Tindale's 
departure, he must have been at least partially 
involved in the preparations for the transport, 



since we read in a letter by Hale which was 
written only about 10 days after Tindale's 
departure: 'It now seems certain that we will 
shortly be transferring a good deal of our material 
to the country. It is probable that some of our 
galleries will be at least temporarily closed' (Hale 
to Scott, Director of Queen Victoria Museum and 
Art Gallery, Launceston, Tasmania, 30 January 
1942). The last sentence supports the belief that 
the exhibited collections were not moved entirely, 
otherwise he would not have used the word 
'some'. 
On 7 April 1942, Hale informed Tindale: 

We have removed most of the entomological 
collections and some of the ethnological to one of 
the pavilions in the National Park. We were lucky to 
get this as everything is being occupied by military 
camps. Apparently work has been well started in the 
Tunnel and we have all the rest of the ethnological 
material ready to go at a moment's notice. Cooper 
and Vogelsang have worked like Trojans on the 
packing job and, in fact, have both knocked 
themselves out. 

On 18 May 1942, Hale reported in a letter to 
Professor Hill of the Medical College in 
Colombo, Ceylon that: 'The major part of our 
ethnological material is packed away for 
safekeeping and will not be available until after 
the war.' 

Little is known about which galleries were 
closed and which objects remained on display 
during the time the specimens were stored in the 
Sleeps Hill Tunnel. The Annual Report 1942^3: 
3 notes: 'Collections stored away from Adelaide 
as an air raid precaution and those in reserve in 
the Museum are regularly inspected and are in 
good condition.' 

The specimens remained in the tunnel for two 
years. Then Cooper reported: 'all the ethnological 
material removed to Sleeps Hill some time ago 
has now been returned to the museum with the 
exception of six canoes' (Cooper to Hale, 24 May 
1944). 

After the dismption caused by the removal and 
subsequent return of the Museum's collections, it 
seemed like a good time to assess the Museum's 
situation: 

During this year the Board has devoted considerable 
time to discussion of possible post war extension of 



12 'Reference collections' are the type specimens with which all subsequent specimens are compared for identification; this term is 
normally used in relation to natural history collections not ethnographic collections. Lawson is unsure whether the ethnographic 
material was considered in the same way as the natural history material for the purpose of the removal. 

13 By comparison, the mammals were listed in this survey wilh merely 400 Cub. ft. 2 tons. 



78 



C. HENN & B. CRAIG 



the Museum. Lack of adequate exhibition and 
storage space became acute years ago, and the 
position is now extremely unsatisfactory . . . 
Exhibition space is so limited that justice cannot be 
done to displays illustrative of our fauna and of our 
aborigines . . . Particularly, one may mention our 
Ethnological collections which could be made a 
feature of a new Museum. Many of the 40,000 
objects of this collection were secured years ago, 
and today it can be said that literally some of them 
are worth their weight in gold. Some of the material 
from the Pacific Islands for example cannot be 
duplicated. Portion of it is displayed in the old red 
brick Museum, but necessarily the specimens are 
placed close together in the cases with the idea of 
affording safe housing for as much of this valuable 
material as is possible. To the public such an 
arrangement is meaningless and these stored 
specimens alone could be spread out to fill a very 
large hall so as to illustrate by means of labels, maps 
and photographs, the life and interests of the Pacific 
peoples. This and other projects cannot be 
considered until vastly more floor space is available 
(Annual Report 1944-45: 3). 

The problem of relying upon natural light for 
the viewing of exhibits is reviewed in the Annual 
Report 1945-46: 2: 

The need for adequate artificial lighting has been 
stressed again and again. In our State, conditions in 
the Museum buildings may be said to present a 
violent contrast, in that on summer days it is 
difficult to exclude the bright light, which causes 
irreparable damage to furred and feathered animi ■•!-, 
placed on exhibition, while on the other hand, in the 
winter months, when during the weekends the 
Museum is thronged, it is difficult to see some of 
the exhibits, and recently at 3.30 p.m. on a dull 
Sunday afternoon there was observed the ludicrous 
spectacle of a visitor striking matches in order to 
read some of the labels in the General Court [North 
Wing]. 

The conclusion drawn from this difficulty was 
that the light-wells in the East and North Wings 
would have to be filled in and electric lighting 
installed. This would have the bonus of greatly 
increasing floor space for the exhibits. But the 
money to fill in the East Wing light-wells would 
not become available for another twenty years, 
and to fill in the North Wing light-wells, almost 
another ten years after that. 



Tind ale's 'Rearrangement' Of The Pacific 
Gallery 

In July 1 946, Tindale returned from war service 
to the South Australian Museum and took over 



from Harold Cooper who continued as an 
Assistant. In addition, Harold Burrows was 
employed as Museum Assistant to further support 
Tindale. 

During his time in the R.A.A.F., Tindale had 
collected a small amount of material from the 
Pacific region (the Markham Valley, and other 
parts of New Guinea and the Solomon Islands - 
see Annual Report 1946-47: 3). It is also probable 
that Tindale deepened his knowledge of Pacific 
cultures during his military service. In Tindale's 
Report on State of Ethnological Collections, 
prepared for the Director (7 November 1946), he 
attested that Cooper: 

has done a most excellent job in protecting the 
specimens, registering new material, and 
supervising the laborious tasks of packing and 
unpacking that half of the collection which was 
consigned to Sleeps Hill tunnel for safe keeping 
during the Emergency. Mr. Cooper also 
rearranged a large part of the Ethnological 
Gallery for temporary display ... It will be noted 
that during the shifting of the specimens, many of 
the flimsily tied-on metal tags used in former 
years became detached, and it became 
unfortunately necessary to re-register some 
specimens as being without data. 

In the Annual Report 1945^46: 3 can be read 
the following about Cooper's work: "The interior 
of a number of cases was painted, their contents 
re-arranged, and additional labels and 
piv<!ographs added to make the exhibits more 
attractive.' However, it seems that this remark was 
made with reference to the Stirling Gallery 
(Australian Aboriginal) cases, not the Pacific 
cases (see Hale 1956: 172). Also it would be 
inconsistent with Tindale's stated reason for 
starting on the Pacific Gallery first (see below). 

After the War, there was much disorder despite 
Cooper's work and everything had to be re- 
organized (Interview with Paul Lawson, 19 June 
1997). Even before Tindale commenced on the 
installation of an Indonesian Gallery or took care 
of the Australian Aboriginal exhibits, he began 
re-structuring the Pacific Cultures Gallery. The 
reason for this can be found in the Annual Report 
1946-47: 3): 

Although the Australian ethnological galleries need 
attention and should have had priority, the re- 
organization of the old ethnology gallery had to be 
hastened owing to the unfortunate use of low grade 
war-time carbon bisulphide, containing free sulphur, 
in the fumigation of the specimens. This caused the 
paint in the cases to darken. Painting was overdue 
since much of this portion of the gallery had not 
been decorated since 1 894. 



THE PACIFIC CULTURES GALLERY 



79 



Paul Lawson recalled the Pacific Gallery cases 
as follows (Interview, 19 June 1997): 

The fronts of the cases, the woodwork, was black, . 
. . a French polish black. The insides of the cases 
were painted a flat grey . . . They were all changed 
when we started to work on the cases ... Up until 
after the war they were still black. 

The painting of display cases was not confined 
to the Pacific Gallery; there was a general change 
of colour throughout the Museum, from 'the old 
"museum colour"- a funereal black' (Hale 1956: 
146, 189) to lighter colours. 

In the Pacific Cultures Gallery, Tindale could 
not work with new ways of presentation as he did 
later for the 'Indonesian Gallery' because there 
were too many specimens. In fact, he added even 
more because the safest place for storage 
remained the display cases. 

Shortage of storage room space for these valuable 
specimens under cover necessitates the continuation 
of the highly undesirable practice of overcrowding 
the exhibition cases. In some instances, where 
perishable material has to be protected, even more 
material than was formerly present in the cases is 
being placed on exhibition. However, every 
endeavour is being made, by massing the exhibits, 
to preserve some semblance of spaciousness in the 
displays (Annual Report 1947^8: 3). 

It is not certain if the colours for the inside of 
the cases were chosen to make the cases appear 
spacious despite the over-crowding or if this was 
just a fortunate side-effect. Paul Lawson said 
about this: 'It was done because the coloured 
backgrounds, [those] pale pastels, . . . looked 
more acceptable' (Interview, 19 June 1997). 

The question that needs to be asked at this point 
is to what extent Tindale changed Stirling's and 
Zietz's arrangements. Were whole cases repainted 
but otherwise left unchanged? 

Lawson rejected this supposition in the 
interview even though the wall case exhibits in 
the Pacific Cultures Gallery give the impression 
of a uniform style of display. Further, Tindale 
speaks repeatedly of 're-arrangement' in his 
correspondence; he also mentions the inclusion of 
completely new pieces: 'Opportunity is being 
taken to incorporate some of the more important 
accessions which have been lying in the 
storerooms' (Annual Report 1947-48: 3). 

On the one hand, many of the wall case exhibits 
(e.g. XI, X2 - Papuan Gulf-Fly River; X3 - 
Central Papua; X4-X6 - Milne Bay; X7, X8 - 



Vanuatu; X9 - New Caledonia; X10-X15 - Fiji; 
etc) have only a few objects incorporated into 
them that came into the Museum after the early 
1930s, suggesting that they may not have been 
much changed after the War. On the other hand, 
the Sepik/Madang/Huon Gulf cases (X25-28) 
incorporate large numbers of objects obtained just 
before, during and immediately after the War. 
This suggests that where the cases were more 
radically re-arranged, the exhibits were set up 
deliberately to conform to the older style of 
display. 

Apart from new specimens, photographs and 
graphics also were introduced into the display 
cases. As at 1998, the old displays in the Gallery 14 
featured more than 50 photographs and a number 
of graphics. As Hale (1956: 65) noted, the idea of 
using photographs in displays had a long history, 
dating back to about 1890: 

[Zietz] proposed that ethnological objects, such as 
those from Malaya, New Guinea and Fiji, could be 
'explained' much better by the use of photographs 
showing them in use. He found it impossible to 
secure suitable pictures but the idea was reborn and 
carried out half a century later. 

In a memorandum to Hale dated 9 July 1947, 
about the offer of an ethnological collection by a 
certain Miss Woods, Tindale wrote: 

Among the material from the Pacific Islands is 
much which is of special interest to us in view of 
the fact that we are re-arranging our collections 
from that area. There is an outstanding bird-beaked 
club from New Caledonia, which is better than one 
we possess. 

In another letter from that time (Tindale to Rev. 
Barnes, 6 October 1947) he wrote: 'It is hoped 
that during the forthcoming re-arrangement of the 
New Guinea collections it will be possible to find 
a place for it [a model canoe from Barnes] on 
exhibition." 

In the Annual Report 1946-47: 3) we read: 

Activities of the department have been concentrated 
on the re-arrangement of the Pacific Island 
collections in the old gallery, together with their 
catalogue registration. Approximately one-quarter of 
the gallery has now been re-arranged after the cases 
had been painted . . . There is sufficient ethnological 
material displayed in this gallery alone to occupy 
twice the present space in order that it may be 
displayed more adequately. Removal of paint from 
the glass on the south side of the lantern [ie. glass 
roof] has improved the lighting conditions in the old 



That is, excluding the 199'S and subsequent additions to the Gallery curated by Barry Craig. 



80 



C. HENN & B. CRAIG 



gallery by more than 50 per cent. In dull weather the 
cases are still inadequately lighted and to complete 
the re-organization it seems essential that internal 
lighting of fluorescent tube type be installed. 

In 1948, when Tindale was working on the re- 
arrangement for the third year running, he wrote 
(Tindale to Deland, 5 August 1948): 

we are at this moment re-arranging all our gallery 
collections of New Guinea material . . . We are 
trying to separate the ethnological specimens from 
the various parts of New Guinea to bring out the 
essential differences between such groups as the 
Sepik area, the Huon Gulf area, the Massim districts 
and the Gulf of Papua. In doing this we have 
naturally struck quite a number of problems on 
borderline material. 

This quote makes it clear that Tindale not only 
added more specimens to the cases but worked on 
a new arrangement, at least in part of the Gallery, 
but he kept to the basic rule of exhibiting a 
representative series of object types arranged in a 
geographical sequence. He was not alone in his 
work: 

During the re-organization of the Pacific Island 
collections, the ethnologist received much advice 
and help in the re-identification of material from 
Rev. H. K. Bartlett, Rev. A. S. Webb, Mr. E. C. 
Deland, and others who have first-hand knowledge 
of the natives of these islands; as a result it is hoped 
that most of the material is now better known and 
more adequately labelled than formerly (Annual 
Report 1946-47: 3). 

By 1948 the difficult and expensive work was 
not finished yet. Paul Lawson (Interview, 19 June 
1997) described it as follows: '[the arrangement 
of specimens for] each case had to be laid out on 
the floor or on boards, then the actual putting in 
of the specimens was a slow job because they're 
all fragile.' The Annual Report 1947—48: 3 notes 
progress as follows: 

The ethnologist (Mr. N. B. Tindale) reports that the 
principal activity of the Ethnological Section during 
the year has been the re-organization of the Pacific 
Islands Ethnology collections exhibited in the old 
gallery. Approximately one-half of the gallery has 
been re-organized. This has involved the 
dismantling, card cataloguing of specimens, re- 
painting of cases and the re-installation of exhibits 
from Fiji, Solomons, New Britain, New Ireland, 
New Caledonia, New Hebrides and the Admiralty 
Islands. 

The procedure was described by Paul Lawson 
(Interview, 19 June 1997): 

Tindale and Harold Burrows worked on that [the re- 
arrangement of the Pacific Cultures Gallery] and 



Tindale would tell Burrows what he wanted to put 
in there and then Burrows would try to arrange it 
the way he thought and then Tindale would okay it 
So there were definitely changes. Admittedly some 
of those cases would resemble the previous 
arrangement very closely. 

In 1949 the end came into sight at last: 

The re-arrangement of the South-west Pacific 
Ethnology Gallery by Mr. N. B. Tindale, assisted by 
H. Burrows and L. Wills, is nearing completion. By 
the addition of photographs, models and the use of 
bright background colours, they have transformed 
the presentation of the extensive collections (AGMA 
- News Bulletin of the Art Galleries and Museums 
Association of Australia and New Zealand No.3, 
September 1949; Sydney: 6), 

In the Annual Report 1948^19: 4), relief about 
the imminent completion of the work can be felt: 

The ethnologist reports satisfactory progress in a 
major project of the section, namely the re- 
organization of the Pacific Island ethnological 
collections exhibited in the old red brick building. 




FIGURE 7. Left half of wall case exhibit (X05 - Milne 
Bay Province, PNG) showing aesthetic of display 
arrangement. 



THE PACIFIC CULTURES GALLERY 



SI 




FIGURE 8. One of the window cases ('New Hebrides') installed by Norman Tindale in 1949 and removed in 1976. 



The greater part of the top floor of this gallery is now 
devoted to the display of our collections from New 
Guinea and the Melanesian portions of the Pacific 
Islands. Despite delays due to shortage of material 
and labour the interiors of almost all the cases are 
refurnished and the specimens newly installed. The 
Architect-in-Chief is installing fluorescent lighting in 
cases at the eastern end of the gallery. In continuation 
of this re-arrangement all plaster casts of fossil 
animals, formerly displayed on the walls over the 
main stairways, have been removed to other situations 
and the walls are being repainted. 

In all, Tindale worked for more than four years 
on the re-arrangement of the Pacific Cultures 
Gallery. It must have been somewhat 
disappointing to him that he could not use new 
display methods like dioramas and that better 
contextualization was impossible due to lack of 
space but he did get fluorescent lighting for the 
wall cases. 15 The main task was to store as many 
specimens as possible in the cases, to renew the 
regional classification of objects (since Stirling 
had made many mistakes here) and to arrange 
everything in the most aesthetically pleasing way, 



which can be seen in the placement of specimens 
into triangular, parallel and diagonal patterns (Fig. 
7). Further, 'In its basic arrangement, it still 
reflects the geographic organization imposed upon 
it by Edward Stirling during the 1890s' (Jones 
1993:29). 

Work in the Pacific Cultures Gallery was not 
confined to the wall cases. In the table cases 
around the light-wells, and in the flat cases which 
were in front of the windows along the southern 
wall between the wall cases, Tindale used a then 
up-to-date display method. He arranged the 
smaller specimens, such as tools and ornaments, 
into geographically-defined series to supplement 
the wall case exhibits, presented other material on 
the basis of types of objects such as betel-chewing 
equipment and neck-rests, and other cases 
illustrated particular technologies, such as tapa- 
making. These displays contained more pictures 
with longer accompanying texts (Fig. 8). Above 
all they were not over-crowded. Rather, they seem 
spacious by comparison with the layout of 
specimens in the wall cases. 



It seems hardly credible that electric lighting was installed in the Museum only 50 years ago! 



82 



C. HENN & B. CRAIG 



By the end of Tindale's work on the Pacific 
Gallery there were 4 200 specimens on display in 
82 cases, 'making this one of the outstanding 
collections of its kind' (Annual Report 1949-50: 
4). This compares with 3 000 on display today. 

Tindale's exhibits in the Indonesian Hall, 16 
which was opened in 1954 and dismantled in 
August 1982, were completely different to those 
in the Pacific Gallery: 

The Indonesian Gallery came after this [the Pacific 
Gallery] was completed . . . Display methods were 
different then. We did have a little bit of money, not 
very much, but we had a little bit more than we had 
when we were doing all this [Pacific Gallery] work 
- [which could use] only virtually petty-cash left 
over from something else (Interview with Paul 
Lawson, 19 June 1997). 

In the Indonesian Hall, miniature dioramas were 
used; this constituted a different genre of display. 
Objects in the evolutionary sequence for which 
specimens were lacking were represented by 
replicas, models, graphics and photographic 
'reproductions' (Hale 1956: 191). 

The Post-Tindale Era 

When Tindale retired from the Museum in 
October 1965, he left a young Assistant, Graeme 
Pretty, to continue his interest in the Pacific 
collections. Pretty, a History graduate from the 
University of Sydney, had joined the 
Anthropology staff in 1962 as Assistant Curator 
and was promoted to the new position of Curator 
of Archaeology in 1964. His interests included 
both Melanesian and Australian prehistory. Robert 
Edwards was appointed Curator of Anthropology 
when Tindale left and his interest was in 
Australian Aboriginal ethnography. A year after 
Edwards resigned in 1973, Pretty became Senior 
Curator of Anthropology and Archaeology. 

In the late 1960s, the Director reported that 
because of increased overcrowding, extensions to 
the existing buildings were being considered 
(Annual Report 1969-70: 6 and Annual Report 
1970-71: 6). The damage being caused to 
specimens by the sunlight coming through the 
glass roof was also of grave concern. Lawson 



pointed out a detail on an 1899 photograph of the 
table cases (Interview, 19 June 1997): 

Those black covers were to stop the light getting in 
because the light from up the windows [ie. from the 
glass roof] was quite devastating. It was ordinary 
glass which was painted with white wash on the 
inside. The surrounds leaked, the white wash came 
off, the water dripped down onto the cases, 
especially these flat cases. If they happened to be 
underneath where the drips were it would get in 
there ... get in the cases. But the light was a real 
problem, until [the ordinary glass] was replaced 
with anti-UV glass and that did quite well. It was a 
greenish-blue tinge; that was an improvement. 

To gain additional space in the West (North) 
Wing and eliminate the problems caused by 
sunlight through the glass roof of that Wing, the 
filling in of the light-wells was commenced. 
When the light-wells were filled in, floor space 
was gained. 

The closing in of the light wells in the West [ie. 
North] Wing allowed us to reopen the top floor to 
public exhibition late in the year [1972]. Some 
material which was stored away, usually in 
unsatisfactory areas, while this work was in 
progress, was able to be returned but the lower floor 
is still empty and the material originally housed 
there is distributed in a series of temporary areas 
(Annual Report 1971-72: 6). 

As Paul Lawson reported (Interview, 19 June 
1997), the reconstruction had originally been 
planned differently: 

It was decided to fill the light-wells in. And then it 
was going to be only a light floor, just to separate 
the two galleries [upstairs and downstairs] and to 
put some light material on. I was able to talk with 
the architecture and public buildings departments 
[and explain], 'We can't afford that space not to be 
walked on.' So they increased the strength of it. 

The Annual Report 1972-1973: 9 optimistically 
stated: 

Reconstruction of the ground floor of the West 
[North] Wing is nearing completion, with the 
installation of air conditioning, a sprinkler system 
and glass for the display cases the largest 
outstanding tasks. Plans are being prepared for a 
general refurbishing of the upper floor [the Pacific 
Gallery] in which it is hoped to disturb only a 



The Indonesian Hall, located at the southern end of the top floor of the East Wing, was a bit of a misnomer and was later called the 
Human Cultures Gallery. Hale (1956: 191) states: 'The [Indonesian] Hall was designed to illustrate the earlier cultures of man and 
also more modern collections from South-eastern Asia. The last-named series have been arranged to show the origins of civilized 
man and his development through the stages of neolithic agriculture and the early Iron Age in the lands of South-west Asia . . .treating 
in turn the Indus Valley cultures, India, Malaya, Eastern Asia, Indonesia and the Pacific Islands around Australia'. 



THE PACIFIC CULTURES GALLERY 



83 



minimal number of display cases around the walls 
and to create new exhibits in the central space, now 
occupied by mineral and fossil displays. 

The intention not to re-arrange or add 
something new in the wall cases is clearly stated. 
Lawson' s recall is consistent with this (Interview 
19 June 1997): 

There was no dramatic re-arrangement of specimens 
or cases because of the light-well filling . . . Where 
we could, we used the [existing] cases . . . We didn't 
touch the contents . . . There was no re-arrangement 
of the contents. 

That the Pacific Cultures Gallery looks the way 
it does today is due to the diplomatic skills of the 
museum's staff: 

[The air-conditioning] was put in after the floor 
came about ... it wasn't in the original 
specifications but by a little bit of careful talking to 
the right people we were able to get the 
modifications. The whole project, as I admitted 
afterwards, would never have been accepted because 
of the cost. But because we had one little piece done 
at a time and then, because that was done, they had 
to do something else, it worked. But I was told never 
to come with that trick again (Interview with Paul 
Lawson, 19 June 1997). 

These additional developments might have been 
why the Annual Report 1973-74: 9) explained: 

There have been unavoidable delays in the 
completion of the West Wing and Stirling Galleries. 
In the absence of a Curator (Senior) of 
Anthropology and because of some necessary 
building alterations, reconstruction of the Stirling 
Gallery has not proceeded. Attempts have been 
made to keep it open with limited displays, but these 
are far from satisfactory and do not reflect the 
wealth of our Aboriginal collections. A 
postponement, therefore, of work on the Pacific 
Cultures Gallery was necessary to keep it open, if 
we were to avoid effectively closing about three- 
quarters of the Museum. 

These alterations which, apart from the air- 
conditioning, involved also the installation of a 
ceiling, spotlights and carpet, were delayed year 
after year and it wasn't until 3 October 1977 that 
Premier Dunstan officially opened the remodelled 
Pacific Cultures Gallery 'to coincide with the 
Annual Conference of the Museums Association 
of Australia' (Annual Report 1977-78: 22). 
However, although the Fossil displays had been 
relocated, the Minerals displays continued to 
occupy the central area of the Gallery. 

Most of the table cases which since the late 
nineteenth century had been located around the 
light-wells remained (and remain today) but the 



window cases along the southern wall were 
removed in 1976 towards the end of the long 
period of reconstruction. Lawson has provided an 
album of photographs which show that the three 
air-conditioning units were installed along the 
southern wall by removing the flat window-cases, 
covering the windows and moving the wall cases 
closer together to provide the necessary space. 

When the filling in of the light wells began, the 
vision was grander: 'It is planned ... to redesign 
the entire Stirling (Aboriginal), Human Cultures, 
and Pacific Islands Galleries commensurate with 
the Museum's extensive holdings in these fields' 
(Annual Report 1972-73: 9). However, nothing 
on that scale happened either then or in the 
following quarter century, presumably because of 
lack of funding. Also, in 1975 the Premier had 
announced that a new Museum would be built, 
commencing about 1978, on a site occupied by a 
bus depot about a kilometre east of the present 
site. Perhaps it was not considered worthwhile 
allocating too many resources to a grand redesign 
if everything was to be moved to an entirely new 
Museum. But this never eventuated either. 

One project that did add substantially to the 
Pacific Gallery was the purchase by The Friends 
of the South Australian Museum of 'a complete 
specimen of a traditional ocean going vessel from 
the Trobriand Island group of South-East Papua . 
. . [which] makes a splendid showing in the 
Pacific Islands Gallery' (Annual Report 1974-75: 
19). 

Although Pretty did go on two significant 
collecting expeditions to the Pacific region (in 
1968-69 to the Southern Highlands of PNG and 
in 1972 to island Melanesia, accompanied by A. 
L. Crawford), he later concentrated more on an 
archaeology project at Roonka on the Murray 
River of South Australia. It is appropriate that his 
most obvious contribution to the Pacific Gallery 
was the addition of a small Melanesian Pre- 
history display in 1981. This display reflects the 
didactic genre typical of that period, utilising 
relatively few objects embedded in a large amount 
of text and graphics (Fig. 9). There was no 
attempt, however, to incorporate into the Pacific 
Gallery the Southern Highlands or island 
Melanesian material he collected. 

Another, relatively minor change in the Pacific 
Cultures Gallery took place in 1986. During the 
1970s reconstructions in the North Wing, a lift 
had been built at the northern end of the East 
Wing but a stop at the Pacific Cultures Gallery 
had not been included. In the mid-eighties this 
was added at last, which resulted in a loss of 



S4 



C. HENN & B. CRAIG 




ic|,fl 



V 








A 



liB: 



: ^E:M 




»:*-:; ■ 



FIGURE 9. 'Melanesian Pre-history' display installed by Graeme Pretty in 1981 . 



space for the Huon Gulf exhibit in the north-east 
corner of the Gallery. A new arrangement for the 
smaller case was designed by Sandy Hanson 
(Interview with David Kerr, 20 June 1997). The 
display technique chosen for this case stands out 
from that of other cases in the Pacific Cultures 
Gallery by its use of glass shelving and a more 
spacious arrangement of specimens but the use of 
minimal labelling was consistent with the old 
displays. 

During the early 1990s, the greatly expanded 
Museum shop was squeezed into the central space 
on Level 3 adjacent to the main stairs. During that 
time the Trobriand kula canoe and the 
surrounding table cases were moved from the 
western to the eastern end of the Gallery to join 
the one-third-scale Rogea (Massim) hut and its 
surrounding table cases; the Mineral exhibits were 
moved to the western end. 



The Last Five Years 
By the time the Pacific Arts Association 



conference was held in Adelaide in 1993, the shop 
had moved to its present location in the space 
vacated by the Director and Administration at the 
south end of Level Two in the East Wing. The 
Trobriand canoe and surrounding table cases were 
returned to the west end of the Gallery and the 
Mineral exhibits to the centre; the Director and 
Administration relocated to the renovated 
Armoury Building immediately north of the 
Museum's North Wing. The wall cases also 
received some attention — the geographic labels on 
some of the cases were changed to reflect the 
political status of recently independent nation- 
stales (e.g. Vanuatu) and the Vanuatu exhibit in 
the Bridge Case 17 (which included a large number 
of over-modelled and painted skulls) was removed 
and a series of model Melanesian canoes placed 
in it to complement the adjacent Trobriand kula 
canoe but there was minimal, even incorrect, 
information supplied about these canoes. 

There have been other changes to the Gallery in 
recent years. In late 1992, Barry Craig was 
contracted to go to New Ireland and New Britain 
for seven weeks. His objective was to identify 



The 'Bridge Case' was so named as it was located on the section of flooring above the central foyer of the ground floor of the North 
Wing, separating the two sections of the light-well. This case appears lo have been in this location since the 1890s 



THE PACIFIC CULTURES GALLERY 



85 




FIGURE 10. 'La-Sisi' malangan canoe display installed by Barry Craig in May 1997. 



Iwo men from each area to come to the Pacific 
Arts Association's 5th Symposium, to be held at 
the South Australian Museum in April 1993. They 
were to bring and dance masks from those two 
areas — masks that would match masks obtained 
by the Museum 75 years earlier (Craig 1993, 
1994, 1995). The display, in a large eastern wall 
case, of a rare, double-headed Sulka hemlaut 
mask from Wide Bay, New Britain, had been 
almost completely obscured by a wide range of 
other material from Papua New Guinea. These 
objects were cleared and smaller Sulka masks 
collected by Craig in 1993 were displayed 
alongside the hemlaut mask with photographs and 
text. A hemlaut mask he purchased during the trip 
was danced into the Gallery and mounted opposite 
the old mask with two panels of photographs, a 
map and information. An information sheet was 
produced and is available free at the exhibit (and 
also on the Museum's Home Page). 18 

Similarly, the New Ireland exhibits were 
slightly modified by removing two malangan 
from positions in the wall cases where they could 



barely be seen and placing them in a table case in 
the space opposite, along with a selection of 
material collected by Craig, explained by two 
panels of photographs, a map and information. 

To avoid offending Pacific Islanders at the PAA 
Symposium, the Director (Dr Chris Anderson) 
decided to have black cloths suspended in front 
of, or laid over, any skulls or other skeletal 
material on display in the Gallery. These cloths 
have recently been removed. 

In December 1995, Barry Craig was appointed 
Curator of Foreign Ethnology. He was a graduate 
in Social Anthropology from the University of 
Sydney strongly influenced by the work of Bryan 
Cranstone of the British (later Pitt Rivers) 
Museum (Craig & Hyndman 1990: iii-iv) had 
extensive experience in Papua New Guinea since 
1962 and had been Curator of Anthropology at 
the PNG National Museum during 1980-83. This 
was the first time a position had been created at 
the South Australian Museum to care exclusively 
for the non-Australian (i.e. 'Foreign') 
ethnographic collections. 



www.samuseum.sa.gov.au 



86 



C. HENN & B. CRAIG 



Spirits of Vanuatu 





FIGURE 11. Part of 'Spirits of Vanuatu" display 
installed by Barry Craig in March 1998. 



In 1996, Craig was responsible for a display of 
42 photographs which were mounted on the large 
panels which conceal the three air-conditioning 
units along the southern wall of the Gallery." 
These photographs had been taken in the Papuan 
Gulf area, New Guinea and the Solomons by an 
Oil Exploration geologist/surveyor, Ernest Sterne 
Usher, in 1914-16. An information sheet was 
prepared for this exhibit as well. Three large 
Papuan Gulf masks, removed from the Sulka 
hemlaut case in 1993, were set up opposite the 
Papuan Gulf wall cases. 

In 1997, Craig arranged the borrowing and 
installation of the privately-commissioned, 8- 
metre-long La-Sisi Malangan Canoe (Fig. 10); 
additional New Ireland material was displayed in 
association with this exhibit. Again, an 
information sheet was produced. 



The most recent changes and additions to the 
Gallery were associated with an event in March 
1998 timed for the Adelaide biennial Festival of 
Arts. This required Craig to go to Vanuatu to 
identify two men to come to the Museum and 
repaint a large Ambrym slit-drum (A. 74765) 
donated to the Museum in 1996. The drum was 
installed in the main foyer of the Museum along 
with a tree-fern grade figure (A. 74757) collected 
by Craig in 1997. This took place as a public 
event and included pork and vegetables cooked in 
a ground-oven and supplemented by kava, a 
beverage considered essential for all ceremonial 
events in Vanuatu. The model canoes were 
removed from the Bridge Case and a display of 
Vanuatu material took their place. This exhibit 
(Fig. 11) was designed to demonstrate the 
continuity of Vanuatu traditions by displaying 
pots, mats, musical instruments and other material 
collected by Craig corresponding to pieces 
obtained by the Museum 100 years previously. 
An information sheet was produced for this 
display. 

A plan to redevelop the Aboriginal exhibits in 
the Museum, to be completed in the year 2000, 
required that the Pacific Gallery be moved to 
another space. However, in addition to certain 
design considerations, estimates of the cost of 
moving the Pacific exhibits and restoring the 
interior of the Gallery to its Victorian style, 
including the removal of the ceiling, proved too 
great for the amount of money provided and this 
part of the plan was dropped and the New 
Aboriginal Cultures Gallery is now being 
developed in the bottom two levels of the East 
Wing. 

It now remains to find modest resources over 
the next several years to progressively upgrade the 
Pacific Gallery (Fig. 12) and provide more 
information through several levels of 
interpretation of the material on display, while 
maintaining most of the wall case displays as they 
have been since the late 1940s (in some cases 
possibly since the late 19 ,h century). The floor case 
displays will be changed considerably to provide 
more information about various technologies and 
types of objects on a comparative basis. 
Concurrently, the exhibits in both wall and floor 
cases will be utilised to explain the nature of the 
relationship between South Australia and the 



This exhibit was suggested by Scott Bradley, contract photographer for the Museum, and much of the research on this collection 
was carried out by Grahame Pike (see Pike & Craig 1998). 



THE PACIFIC CULTURES GALLERY 



87 



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1 a, lb Papuan Gulf 

2 

3 

4 

5-6 

7-8 

9 



Western Papua and Torres Strait 

Central Papua 

South-east Papua 

Milne Bay Province, Papua 

Vanuatu 

New Caledonia 
10-15 Fiji 
16-17 New Ireland 
18-19 New Britain 
20-21 Solomon Islands 

22 Spirits of Vanuatu 

23 Santa Cruz 

24 Admiralty Islands 

25 - 27 Sepik Region 

28 - 29a North-east New Guinea 

29b Sulka, New Britain 

29c -30 Papuan Gulf 

3 1 Melanesian Pre-history 

37 - 40 Betel-chewing equipment, PNG 

41 Headrests, PNG 

42-43 Tapa cloth, PNG 

44 - 46 Massim region, S-East Papua 

47-50 Vanuatu 

56 - 57 Mountain Papuans 

58-59 Papuan Gulf 

60 - 63 Sepik-Ramu-Madang, PNG 

64-65 Stone tools, PNG 

66-68 Fishing, PNG 

69 - 74 Shell ornaments and tools 

75-76 Fishing, PNG 

77 - 78 Maori, New Zealand 

79 - 80 New Ireland and La-Sisi Canoe 

81 Sulka, New Britain 



FIGURE 12. Plan of the Pacific Gallery as at March 1998. 



C. HENN & B. CRAIG 



Pacific through the agency of the many people — 
missionaries, government officers, soldiers, 
scientists, etc. — who were the collectors (Jones 
1993). 

With the removal of the Minerals exhibits from 
the centre of this space, it is hoped that a display 
of New Guinea highlands cultures can be added, a 
project towards which Tindale was moving in the 
1940s but was unable to bring to fruition 
(Fitzpatrick 1999: 183, 202). There may be space 
also for a more comprehensive exhibit dealing 
with Pacific prehistory, especially that of the 
Austronesian origins of Polynesia, with associated 
exhibits of Polynesian and Micronesian material, 
at present not on display. The model canoes and 
maritime trade articles in the collections will 
provide the basis for a display on the significance 
of maritime trade in Melanesia and its origin in 
the cultures of the Austronesians several thousand 
years ago. 

The South Australian Museum's Pacific 
Gallery is the largest and most comprehensive 
display of its kind in Australia. Visitors to the 
exhibits value the old style of display and the 
large number of objects available for viewing. 
With careful use of modern technologies, the 
present lack of information in the Gallery can be 
addressed, as has already commenced with the 
Sulka, New Ireland and Vanuatu exhibits. The 
linking of these refurbishments with 
performances conducted by people of the areas 
from which the objects came, will become 
standard procedure. The opportunity also exists 
to take back photographs of objects to the 
descendants of those who made these objects, to 
obtain more information and to provide the basis 



for future co-operative use of these things, 
including repatriation. 

What was once an asymmetric relationship 
between tribal peoples and foreign curio and 
museum collectors can become more balanced, 
and projects can be developed (such as the 1993 
New Ireland/New Britain and 1997/8 Vanuatu 
initiatives described above) which bring the 
museum's public into direct relationship with the 
descendants of those peoples. The covert 
messages conveyed by the old, essentially 
'Victorian', style of exhibits in the wall cases can 
be objectified and the Gallery can then function 
also as a museum within a museum. 



Acknowledgments 

This paper evolved out of a research project by 
Carsten Henn, a International Programs student from 
the Institute of Cultural Anthropology, University of 
Cologne, whilst he was studying at the University of 
Adelaide. He was supervised by Dr Deane Fergie. 
Department of Anthropology, and assisted her research 
on the Pacific Gallery of the South Australian Museum. 
Dr Fergie was preparing a submission (see References) 
to the State Heritage Branch, Department of 
Environment and Natural Resources, to establish the 
heritage significance of the Gallery and recommend its 
preservation under the Heritage Act of 1993. Because 
of Henn's involvement in that research, there is content 
and wording that is common to both Fergie's report and 
this paper. Barry Craig filled some gaps in the historical 
information and wrote the final section. Thanks are due 
to Harry Bowshall and Paul Lawson, retired Museum 
employees, for their reminiscences on the history of the 
Pacific Gallery and to Ian Maidment who prepared the 
floor-plan of the Pacific Gallery. 



References 



CRAIG, B. 1993. Sulka Danced Sculpture. Artlink 

13(2): 46-49. 
CRAIG, B. 1994. Masta Bilong Faiawud. Paradise 103: 

29-31. 
CRAIG, B. 1995. Following the tracks of Edgar Waite 

in New Guinea for the Pacific Arts Symposium in 

Adelaide. Records of the South Australian Museum 

28(1): 33-52. 
CRAIG, B. and HYNDMAN, D. (eds) 1990. 'Children 

of Afek. Tradition and Change among the Mountain- 

Ok of Central New Guinea.' Oceania Monograph 

No.40. Sydney: University of Sydney. 
FERGIE, D. 1997. 'The Pacific Cultures Gallery, South 

Australian Museum. An Analysis and Assessment of 

Cultural Heritage Significance.' Report submitted to 



the State Heritage Branch, Department of 
Environment and Natural Resources. Adelaide. 
FITZPATRICK, P. 1999. The A.P.H. Freund Collection 
of New Guinea artefacts held by the South Australian 
Museum. Records of the South Australian Museum 
31(2): 181-214. 

HALE, H. M. 1956. The First Hundred Years of the 
South Australian Museum, 1856-1956. Records of 
the South Australian Museum XII: 1-225. 

JONES, P. 1992. The life of a 'Museum Man' - Edgar 
Waite' s diaries as an historical source. Records of 
the South Australian Museum 26(1): 73-75. 

JONES, P. 1993. A Brief Survey of the South 
Australian Museum's Pacific Collections. Pacific 
Arts 7: 20-31. 



THE PACIFIC CULTURES GALLERY 



89 



JONES, P. 1996a. Obituary. Norman B. Tindale. 
Records of the South Australian Museum 28(2): 
159-176. 

JONES, P. 1996b. '"A Box of Native Things": 
Ethnographic Collectors and the South Australian 
Museum, 1830s-1930s.' PhD Thesis, University of 
Adelaide. 

MARKHAM, S. F. and RICHARDS, H. C. 1933. 
'Report on the Museums and Art Galleries of 
Australia.' London: The Museums Association. 



PIKE, G. and CRAIG, B. 1978. The Usher Collection 
of Papuan Photographs in the South Australian 
Museum. Records of the South Australian Museum 
31(2): 215-253. 

Reports of the Board of Governors of the Public 
Library, Museum and Art Gallery of South Australia 
(annually, 1884-85 to 1939-40). Adelaide. 

Reports of the Museum Board (annually, 1940-41 to 
present). Adelaide: South Australian Museum. 



THE CHIEFS OF KIRIWANA 

Ralph S. Lawton 

Summary 

This paper is a socio-linguistic study of chiefly status in the northern portion of Kiriwina, the largest 
of the Trobiand Islands off the eastern end of New Guinea. It describes chiefly privilege, chiefly 
authority and the chiefly hierarchy. Reference is made to relevant items of material culture held in 
the collections of the South Australian Museum. An appendix describing the choice of certain 
Kiriwinan terms for use in Bible translation reveals the subtlety of the terminology used by 
Kiriwinans when referring to chiefly matters. 



THE CHIEFS OF KIRIWINA 



RALPH S. LAWTON 



LAWTON. R. S. 1999. The Chiefs of Kiriwina. Records of the South Australian Museum 
32(1): 91-118. 

This paper is a socio-linguistic study of chiefly status in the northern portion of Kiriwina, 
the largest of the Trobriand Islands off the eastern end of New Guinea. It describes chiefly 
privilege, chiefly authority and the chiefly hierarchy. Reference is made to relevant items of 
material culture held in the collections of the South Australian Museum. An appendix 
describing the choice of certain Kiriwinan terms for use in Bible translation reveals the subtlety 
of the terminology used by Kiriwinans when referring to chiefly matters. 

R. S. Lawton, 10 Pope Street, Hughes ACT 2605. Manuscript received 2 November 1998. 



Introduction 

This study of Kiriwinan chiefly hierarchy was 
originally prepared in 1968 for presentation at a 
translation workshop conducted by the Bible 
Society in Banz, Papua New Guinea, and has 
never been published. The initial purpose was 
lexical research. 1 However it developed into a 
study of the distinguishing features of the 
Kiriwinan chiefly hierarchy with special reference 
to the lexicon of chiefly terms and the semantic 
reference of authoritarian words, and as such was 
presented at a meeting of the Anthropological 
Society of South Australia in June 1996. At the 
suggestion of Barry Craig, Curator of Foreign 
Ethnology at the South Australian Museum, it has 
been enhanced to include reference to relevant 
artefacts in the collections of the South Australian 
Museum. 

This hereditary order of chiefs in Kiriwinan 
society has been commented on by many 
anthropologists, particularly those who have 
carried out research in the Massim region of 
eastern Papua. Seligman (1910: 663) commented 
that 'chieftainship appears to be more highly 
developed in the Trobriand Islands than elsewhere 
in British New Guinea' and noted many of the 
rights and privileges peculiar to chiefly status 
(ibid.: 695ff.). 

Bronislaw Malinowski, primary chronicler of 
this culture, makes frequent reference to the 



chiefly order (e.g., 1922: 10, 24f.; 1932: 52; 1935: 
80) but his published works do not include any 
specific study of the things which mark rank in 
the chiefly hierarchy, or the level of authority 
borne by different ranks. He comments that his 
brief outline of chieftainship (1935: 38-40) 
'cannot do justice to the complexity of the 
subject'. 

A more recent scholar, Annette Weiner, has 
made a clear reference to the chiefly order (1976: 
45), citing its hereditary nature, its 'effective 
means of rank separation' through 'the 
paraphernalia of decorations and social and 
physical taboos', and the political importance of 
polygamy for the highest ranks. She lists on the 
same page the names of those who have made 
significant reference to the subject. 

In this paper I have tried to delineate the order 
of rank in the Kiriwinan chiefly hierarchy, with 
special attention to two marks of chiefliness — 
karaiwaga or authority (both ancient and modern) 
and koni or privilege at its various levels for each 
rank. I have not given special attention to the 
taboos peculiar to chiefs. So far as I know, the 
hierarchy has not been delineated in this way by 
any other student of Kiriwinan society. 

My main sources were two men of high rank 
within the Tabalu sub-clan of the Malasi clan. The 
first of these, and the one who encouraged me to 
make this study, was Antonio Lubisa Bunaimata 
(Fig. 1). Antonio had refused to yield to pressure 



Its purpose was to show how chiefly concepts and the vocabulary attached to chiefly rank had influenced my work as a Bible 
translator. I had intended to omit that part in this presentation. But as it is relevant to translation theory and could be of interest to 
linguists, I have included it as Appendix V. 



92 



R. S. LAWTON 



from those wishing him to become chief of the 
Kavataria village community because he preferred 
to retain his place as a pastor within the (then) 
Methodist Church in Kiriwina. The second, 
recommended by Antonio, was Tolosi, a blind 
Kiriwinan who was an acknowledged repository 
of reliable information and legend relating to 
chiefly status in Kiriwinan society. 

Together Antonio and Tolosi discussed the 
various questions I posed about chiefly sub-clans 
and the various degrees of authority and privilege 
which traditionally belonged to each family. The 
discussions occupied about twenty hours over 
several meetings during 1967 and this paper seeks 
to present their conclusions and pronouncements. 
It is acknowledged that certain matters may have 
evolved over the past three decades and I do not 
want the reader to assume that this paper refers to 
Kiriwinan chieftainship as it exists in the late 
1990s, nor that it represents the view of chiefly 
matters held by others than Antonio and Tolosi, 
though there will of course be many consistencies. 



Kirwinian Society 

The Kiriwina people live in the Trobriand 
Islands at the northern fringe of Milne Bay 
Province, Papua New Guinea. The population on 
Kiriwina when this paper was first researched in 
1967 was about 13 500 but by 1996 had almost 
doubled to 26 000. Also, there are at least 4 000 
Kiriwinans living in various urban centres in 
Papua New Guinea. 

One language only (with dialect variations) is 
spoken throughout the Trobriand Islands and in 
the Lusancay and Marshall Bennett islands 
nearby. This linguistic uniformity is not common 
in polyglot Papua New Guinea society and is 
especially unusual for island-dwelling 
communities, as geographical divisions usually 
provide conditions which ensure linguistic 
diversity. As an example of this, in the much 
larger D'Entrecasteaux Islands immediately south 
of the Trobriand Islands, a linguistic survey 
conducted in the 1960s recorded 19 separate 
languages for a population of around 35 000. 



The residents of the Trobriand Islands are more 
correctly to be called the Kilivila people but due 
to an early mis-naming of the main island of the 
group as the island of Kiriwina, and also for what 
could be called political expediency, 2 the people 
are generally known as Kiriwinans; indeed, many 
mina Kilivila today prefer to use it of themselves 
and I will so refer to them here. 

In order to appreciate the social order in which 
the class system of Kiriwina is set, it is necessary 
to look at both the clan groupings into which the 
whole society is divided and at the sub-clans 
which form a chiefly hierarchy within each clan 
group. These two divisions of the society may be 
seen as a vertical (clan) and a horizontal (class) 
division which uniquely defines the place of each 
member of society. 

The Clans of Kiriwina 

The matrilineal clan grouping is the vertical 
dimension which divides the whole of Kiriwinan 
society into four separate groups. Each clan is 
further divided into a number of matrilineal sub- 
clans. I will look now at these two social groups. 
A clan is called kumila and a sub-clan dala. 

A kumila may be defined as a group of dala 
held together by certain customs or obligations; 
these customs or obligations separate them from 
other kumila. One clan is related to another by an 
exogamous marriage relationship. Each kumila 
has a pair of totem animals. The kumila in 
Kiriwina are four in number. Their names are 
Malasi, Lukuba, Lukosisiga and Lukulobuta. 

The Malasi has the dove (bubuna) and pig 
(bunukwa) as its totem animals. Its chiefly dala 
include most importantly the Tabalu, from which 
the so-called 'paramount chief of Kiriwina 
comes. Its two other chiefly dala are Osusupa and 
Bwaitaitu. 

The Lukuba has the sea eagle (mluveka) and the 
dog (kaukwa). Its chiefly dala are Mlobwaima, 
Mwauli and Tudava. 

The Lukosisiga has the coconut parrot (karaga) 
and the snake (keiyuna). Its chiefly data include 
Kwainama, Sakapu (now probably extinct, their 
place being taken by Wabali — see footnotes 19 



One of the locally-recognised political divisions is the Kilivila area and this is both numerically and politically the strongest part 
of Kiriwinan society. I believe that other areas of Kiriwina feel threatened today if they are all collectively referred to as 'mina 
Kilivila' (people of Kilivila). I once asked a man who lived in the Kuboma area, which abuts the southern border of the Kilivila area, 
whether he preferred to be called Tolela Kilivila' or Tolela Kiriwina' (a man of Kilivila or a man of Kiriwina) and he replied 
unhesitatingly 'Kiriwina!' When I asked him why, he muttered to himself for a while, and then replied, 'Because Kiriwina is the 
name on the map!' 



THE CHIEFS OF KIRIWINA 



93 



TABLE 1. Structure of Kiriwinan Society 





Malast 


Lukuba 


Lukosisiga 


Lukulobuta 




clan 


clan 


clan 


clan 


gweguya or 


Tabalu 


Mlobwaima 


Kwainama 


Kaitotu 


chiefly families 


Osusupa 


Mwauli 


Sakapu (Toliwaga), 


Kabata 




Bwaitaitu 


Tudava 


but now Wabali 

Kailai 

Kulutula 




tokai or 


many 


many 


many 


many 


commoners 











and 20), Kailai and possibly Kulutula. The Sakapu 
dala bore the honorary title of Toliwaga, 
conferred upon it by the Tabalu in the forgotten 
past. 

The Lukulobuta has the banana parrot (gegila) 
and the goanna (kailavasi). Its chiefly dala are 
Kaitotu and Kabata. 3 

Within each clan group there are also a number 
of non-chiefly or 'commoner' dala. I have named 
only chiefly dala because they are the cross-clan 
group I have referred to as horizontal. Because 
marriage relationships are exogamous, and 
because chiefly dala only marry into other chiefly 
dala (never into the dala of tokai, the 
commoners), there is a clear division of Kiriwinan 
society across all clans. 

The most important feature of the clan grouping 
is the marriage relationship and the children 
which issue from the women who take their place 
in the clan's membership. The marriage bond is, 
as I have stated above, exogamous, which means 
that the husband is not a member of his wife's 
clan and children take their clan membership from 
their mother. 

The exogamous relationship by which the four 
clans are related is said to be breaking down these 
days, although most people feel that marriages 
within the clan are improper. In the past, marriage 
or sexual contact of any sort within a clan was 
seen as shameful or incestuous and if brought to 
public attention was often followed by a public 
confession and suicide attempt (usually 
successful). 

Apart from the public scrutiny of relationships 



in marriage, clan membership of any person has 
no particular prominence except when clan 
membership is terminated by death. However at 
the time of death the entire village is thrown into 
turmoil because of clan obligations in mourning 
customs. 

The three clans who have not been depleted by 
death must immediately do everything necessary 
for the proper conduct of burial and associated 
acts. It is in their interest to do so, for the 
bereaved clan is obliged to pay back every act of 
grief and every service to the deceased. Every tear 
shed, every clod of earth moved for the burial, 
every finger laid on the shroud when the body is 
moved, is carefully noted and acknowledged in 
subsequent distributions of food, betel nut, pork, 
etc. Such mortuary distributions are called 
kaimelu. 

Then the clan in mourning has a second 
distribution (called yawali), strictly within the 
clan, when the entire possessions of the former 
household of the deceased are distributed. The 
widowed partner owns nothing and must return to 
his/her own clan. In this distribution, not only the 
pots, tools, wealth items, etc. are distributed, but 
the very house in which they lived may be 
dismantled and distributed. 

A third mortuary distribution is conducted by 
the women of the clan when skirts and skirt- 
making material ('women's wealth') are 
distributed in payment of obligations. This is 
called sagali paila baloma (Weiner 1976: 91). 

A fourth mortuary distribution, the last one, 
takes place at harvest time 4 when either the food 



My two colleagues were unsure as to whether these two are separate dala or whether they come from one older dala. I could not 
find anyone else who could clarify this for me. 
Kiriwina is a yam culture with a specific annual harvest. 



94 



R. S. LAWTON 



from the garden planted by the deceased, or the 
food produced by a special garden planted by clan 
members after the death, is distributed. In this 
distribution of food, all obligations of the 
deceased and his/her relatives are finally settled. 

This exchange is usually within the year of 
death but may in some cases take place several 
years after the death, as the clan will wait until a 
good enough harvest is gathered to enable them to 
do sufficient honour to the deceased. In such 
cases the unfortunate bereaved must continue to 
wear and display the signs of mourning 5 for years, 
to do due reverence to the deceased until that final 
distribution is concluded. This final exchange is 
called sigiligula. 

Thus the clans of Kiriwina are involved in a 
continuing succession of mortuary exchanges and 
counter-exchanges, so much so that people may 
be more important and socially significant in 
death than they ever were in life. 

The Sub-clans of Kiriwina 

Each of these four clans (kumila) is further 
divided, as noted above, into sub-clans (dala); and 
a fundamental division into chiefly and non- 
chiefly sub-clans must be seen as a horizontal 
division of the whole society into chiefly 
(gweguya) and commoner (tokai) classes (Table 
1). All four clans are affected by this division. 

A dala is not a family unit of parents and 
children but a group of matrilineally-related 
people who can trace their relationship to a 
common mythical ancestor. Each dala (more 
especially, chiefly dala) is able to point to one 
geographical point of origin, perhaps a cave or 
some topographical feature, which is the place 
where that ancestor first came into Kiriwina. This 
place is called the house (bwala) of that dala.'' 
Needless to say, the ability to recount genealogies 
and long lists of descent from the original 
ancestor is an important mark of authenticity for 
any one dala. Surprisingly, I do not think that 
anyone has done any field-work on gathering 
these genealogies (liliu), even though they would 



be important oral sources for Kiriwinan 
prehistory. 

I found it difficult to get information on 
commoner dala. There was a general feeling 
amongst chiefly informants that there were very 
many such dala but that most tokai did not know 
the name of the dala to which they 'belonged'. 
My informants did name eleven dala of the tokai, 
but they knew of these because they were special 
families which had certain privileges recognised 
by the gweguya. They did not know (or would not 
name) the sub-clans which had no special 
privileges or authority. 



The Chefs Of Kiriwina 

I now proceed to examine the chiefly dala, 
which is the main concern of this study. The 
whole group of chiefly dala is collectively 
referred to as the gweguya, which is the plural 
form of guyau, 'chief. 

The gweguya of Kiriwina are made up of the 
ten or perhaps eleven dala shown in Table 1 
above. Those shown high in the list for each 
kumila are of a higher rank than those placed 
below. I must say two things about this group of 
sub-clans. 

A Separate Social Set 

First (as stated above), the gweguya are a 
separate social set, having more to do with each 
other across clan boundaries than they do with 
commoners within their own clan. This is 
reinforced by the fact that the gweguya only marry 
into sub-clans that are chiefly. This marriage 
relationship holds the gweguya together. A 
parallel may perhaps be seen in the royal houses 
of Europe in the 18th- 19th Centuries. Although 
conscious of the differing levels of privilege and 
authority (noted below) yet they are a 
homogeneous social unit within Kiriwinan 
society. 

This homogeneity was demonstrated in the 
1960s when, at the time of the first formation of a 



These include such things as a shaved head, blackened unwashed body, mourning beads and skirts, etc. 

I was once granted the privilege of visiting the bwala of the Tudava sub-clan. (Tudava was a legendary hero who slew the cannibal 
giant Dokanikani and liberated Kiriwina.) The track to the sacred spot was significant at almost every point with various legendary 
associations being attached to a mound or a rock. At one point my guide pointed out a flat area in a grove of trees as 'the house of 
the Tabalu sub-clan' . After a rough journey through rugged limestone formations we came to the cave which was said to be Tudava' s 
bwala, the point of origin of the Tudava sub-clan. Lovely grottoes sparkled before our torches, encrusted with stalactites and stacked 
with heaps of ancient human bones, some completely encased in limestone from the dripping water. These were said to be the bones 
of ancient Tabalu ancestors, whose bwala I had been shown earlier. 



THE CHIEFS OF KIRIWINA 



95 



Local Government Council for all Kiriwina, the 
Government was able successfully to convene a 
parallel Council of Chiefs as an advisory body. 

Secondly, it depends on whom you ask as to 
whether all sub-clans in this group may be 
considered chiefly. If the question is directed to a 
dala fairly low in the pecking order, such as 
Tudava, then certainly all of these sub-clans are 
chiefly, only differing in the amount of privilege 
or weight of authority. If however the same 
question is asked of a Tabalu chief (as I did on 
one occasion ask the then paramount chief Vanoi 
of Omarakana), only the top three (Tabalu, 
Mlobwaima, Wabali) and maybe a fourth 
(Kwainama) are truly gweguya, whereas the 
others are merely tokwaraiwaga (people with 
authority). 

In this paper, however, I am assuming that all 
the families listed are of chiefly rank, for each has 
a definable level of authority and a recognised set 
of privileges, and I see these two distinctive 
features (authority and privilege) as the things 
which determine membership within the chiefly 
order. Here it is my purpose to show the different 
level of privilege and authority that each dala is 
accorded by Kiriwinan society. 

The word gweguya is the plural form of guyau, 
'chief, and refers to everybody within the various 
chiefly dala whether they hold the place of a 
village chief or not. 

Those who become village chiefs rank high in 
the liliu ('legend') of their dala. Certain villages 
are traditionally occupied by chiefs of a particular 
dala. For example, the high-ranking Tabalu dala 
traditionally hold the office of chief in the villages 
of Omarakana, Gumilababa, Tukwaokwa, 
Kavataria, Mlosaida, Sinaketa and Kaduwaga, 7 
while another dala would traditionally provide the 
chief of a different set of villages. 

The Two Distinctive Features of a Chief 

The distinctive features of the gweguya 
recognised by all Kiriwinan society are two, 
which they call koni, 'privileges' and karaiwaga, 
'authority'. A description of the range of meaning 
attached to these two will show the total 
distinctive field of the gweguya of Kiriwina. 

The feature of karaiwaga belongs only to the 
one who holds the position of guyau or village 



chief, whereas the feature of koni is shared in 
some measure by all the members of the chiefly 
dala. But the full glory of koni only belongs to 
the actual chief of a village; only the chief is able 
to put on or exercise all the rightful marks of his 
class. Other members of his dala benefit from the 
same privileges, but in a lesser degree, with due 
regard being paid at all times to the principle of 
kautuwota referred to below. 

Thus, in the comments on koni below, I will 
frequently refer to the chief as the recipient, 
because he is the highest-ranking one present; but 
in a lesser degree the remarks will apply to other 
gweguya. 



Chiefly Privilege 

Koni as a word in general use means a burden 
carried on the head or shoulders; or, the particular 
part of a task for which one is held personally 
responsible. As applied to the gweguya, koni has 
reference to chiefly privilege, rights and 
responsibilities which they as chiefs are entitled 
or expected to bear. 

Under the heading of koni therefore I group the 
wearing of certain adornment, adornment of a 
house, certain aspects of personal behaviour or 
bearing, the right to certain yams, the receipt of 
an annual tax, certain special chants and honours 
due to him on occasions, the right to a number of 
wives, and the elevation of the chief's person 
above others near him. I now consider the details 
of these koni. 

Body Ornaments 

The wearing of ornaments or decoration of the 
body is one of the facts of life for every 
Kiriwinan, whether chiefly or not. However, 
certain ornaments are reserved for the gweguya as 
their particular right or privilege. Alternatively 
some particular modification is made to an 
ornament commonly worn by all tokai which 
makes it the particular prerogative of the chiefly 
sub-clans. 

Personal adornment is generally referred to 
as kala katububula, 'his adornment' (Fig. 2). 
On an occasion when a chief is dressed in all 
his finery, this highly decorated state is 



The villages of Oyuveyova and Oluvilevi are traditionally Tabalu also, but for a number of reasons are currently under the rule of 
a chief from a different data. See the distribution of these villages under Tabalu chiefs in the map in Appendix IV. 



96 



R. S. LAWTON 



described as kala kalugologusa, 'his splendour' 
(used only of a regnant chief). 8 The various 
items of personal adornment for general daily 
wear or for dancing decoration of the gweguya 
are listed in Appendix I. 

House Adornment 

The second koni item is the practice of adorning 
houses with boards painted in a particular pattern, 
or by attaching various other ornaments. Such a 
practice is exclusively the right of the chiefly sub- 
clans. The total process of decorating a house is 
called bomileilai. The house of a high-ranking 
chief, when completely decorated and ornamented, 
is spectacular and colourful. Such a house is called 
a ligisa. It is on the ligisa that the various house 
ornaments listed in Appendix II are displayed. 

Many of the same house decorations may also 
appear on the chiefs yam-house (bwaima) (Figs 
3, 4) and the chief's council house (buneyova). 

In addition, all of the gweguya resident there 
have the right to use some ornament and some 
painted decorations on their houses and their 
bwaima (the quantity of decoration being 
determined by the comparative standards known 
as kautuwota, referred to in the next paragraph). 9 
But only the chief who rules a village has the 
right to have and live in a ligisa (Fig. 3). 



The form of the chiefly lime-gourd (yaguma) 
and lime spatula (kena), with customs and rituals 
relating to their use, would illustrate kautuwota in 
action but are perhaps too much of a diversion to 
chronicle here. These two items are discussed 
briefly below and are included in Appendix II. 

In any form of behaviour in public the chief is 
expected to (or has the right to) be more self- 
assertive, better dressed, more finely adorned than 
any other person present. So in accordance with 
this principle, if at some public gathering of 
Kiriwinan people a chief of lower rank is wearing 
an ornament to which his rank normally entitles 
him, he would be reluctant to continue to wear it 
that day if it was more splendid than the 
ornaments worn by another chief of higher rank 
who happened to be present. 

I would not like to convey the impression in 
this description that the chief is a self-assertive, 
loud-mouthed individual constantly displaying his 
own importance. He has the right to be but more 
often the reverse seems to be the case. A chief, 
especially one of high rank, usually carries with 
him a quality of quiet, settled dignity. He doesn't 
have to assert himself; he is already important and 
everyone knows it. But the right of kautuwota is 
the lot to which he is born and he has to exercise 
it on occasions. It is his koni, his prerogative, the 
burden of prominence that he must bear. 



Chiefly Behaviour 

Koni refers also to a particular quality of chiefly 
behaviour known as kautuwota. This is the chiefs 
accepted right to do anything in a superlative 
manner, and the superlativeness varies according to 
the rank of the person, so that from members of the 
Tabalu dala (who can do everything in the 
'mostest' fashion) down the scale to people from 
those sub-clans who are barely distinguishable 
from commoners, this behaviour appears in varying 
degrees. The higher the rank of a person, the more 
positively, or loudly, or openly, is he able to do 
everything. This affects the way a person coughs, 
or clears his throat, or smokes a cigarette, or rattles 
his limestick in the lime gourd, or talks. 



Yam Harvest Privileges 

Koni privilege invokes certain specific 
privileges related to the annual yam crop. This 
includes the right to possess certain yams. 10 When 
these yams grow to the largest size, then no matter 
who has produced them they automatically belong 
to the chief. Such yams are kept by the chief in 
his council house and are usually kept there for 
display. Only on a very important occasion would 
they be given away and such a gift would indicate 
the approbation or generosity of the chief towards 
the recipient individual or occasion. This level of 
generosity would be recognised as the kautuwota 
principle in action. 

The very best yams are called the 'feather of 



On a recent visit I discovered a second equally splendid word describing the same thing: kala mitakakanukula, which derives from 

the verb -kanekukwa, 'to hang down loosely', and translates as 'his visible loosely hanging adornment'. This imparts a whole new 

cultural dimension to the term 'hang loose' ! It seems that a Kiriwinan speaker sees no point in describing something with a simple 

short word if a polysyllabic alternative is available. 

The houses of tokai (commoners) do not, and cannot, have any ornamentation or painted decoration. 

Some of these were named taitukesa, kuvibanena, kuvipiti, danuma, bugwa, mwedatnwada. 



THE CHIEFS OF KIRIWINA 



"7 



the village' (kala dagula valu, or digulela valu) 
and the very famous ones are kept for some years 
until they rot away from the stick to which they 
have been lashed. So while 'belonging' to the 
chief they are effectively a public display of that 
village's wealth and prestige. 

In 1968 I saw one of these yams, a kuvipiti, on 
display in Omarakana, the village of the 
'paramount chief, which I measured at 3.15 
metres in length. This yam was not very heavy, 
being only 75 to 100 mm thick. Another yam dug 
the same year measured only 1.95 metres long but 
was very thick and branched (a kuvibanena) 
weighing approximately 50 kgs. The owners 
sought to present it to the Omarakana chief in 
payment of a long-standing obligation. However 
it had to be carried past another village, the chief 
of which believed himself entitled to possess it, 
and in the resulting fight one man was killed and 
some fifty other belligerents were detained at Her 
Majesty's pleasure for a specified period. 

I have since seen another yam on display, 
described to me as the 'feather of the village', 
3.45 metres in length. While inspecting and 
praising it I was regaled with stories of much 
bigger ones dug and displayed in previous years; 
the Kiriwinan, in common with the rest of 
mankind, loves a credulous auditor. 

Two other yam-related privileges which are part 
of the chiefly koni may be mentioned here. One is 
the right a chief has to a certain chant being sung 
over his yams when they are being brought in 
from the gardens at harvest time. In the harvest 
month (milamala) there is a great deal of noise 
and fun, and the commoners' yams are brought in 
from the garden with a lot of noise and 'fun- 
nothing'" chants and songs. But the sawila chant 
is reserved for the chiefs yams. 

The second applies when a gift of yams, or an 
obligation payment yam, is being brought to the 
chief. On such an occasion, someone blowing a 
tauya (shell-trumpet) precedes the bearers 
announcing the action. The shell-trumpet is a 
common feature in many Melanesian societies. In 
Kiriwina, however, the tauya is reserved to 



announce actions related to the chief or public 
functions to which the chief has given his open 
support. For this reason it is included as part of 
chiefly koni in Appendix II. 

Annual Tax and Other Privileges 

An annual obligation called pokala, a form of 
tax or tribute, is paid to the chief. This is usually 
paid as a gift of ready-cooked fish. 12 When the 
people pay pokala to the chief in this way, he is 
obliged to make a return by feeding the people 
who have done so. This repayment may take place 
a few days after the tribute is given. I am not sure 
who wins, but as the winner is always the one 
who gives most away, the chances are that the 
chief, who must be well-practised in giving, 
would come out of this with the greatest prestige. 

The chiefly sub-clans alone have the right (or is 
it the burden?) of contracting polygamous 
marriages, the number of wives you are entitled to 
varying with your rank. This practice, known as 
vilayawa, is not so strong today. When 
missionaries first went to Kiriwina in 1894, the 
then 'paramount' chief Enamakala, a powerful 
Tabalu of Omarakana village, had 40 or more 
wives. Today, chiefs having similar status may 
have about ten. In 1994 a Kiriwinan chief visited 
Canberra accompanied by his eleven spouses. 
(Sadly, I did not hear of it until afterwards.) The 
rights of respective ranks of chiefs in this regard 
are listed in Appendix III. 

A further example of chiefly koni is known as 
kavagina. This custom involves ensuring that the 
chiefs head is always higher than the heads of 
any others of lower rank. The lower-ranked 
person will stoop, or walk in a stooped position, 
when he passes or approaches a standing chief. If 
the chief is seated, then he must approach him 
crawling or shuffling very low. While this may 
not be observed so rigidly today, the practice of 
showing respect to people of importance by trying 
to keep the head low in approaching or talking 
with them is observed as a common every-day 
courtesy by Kiriwinan people. 13 



Neo-Melanesian Pidgin for 'nothing but fun' ie. no serious religious or political implications. 

For the Kavataria area, the Fish is mamila. For inland areas, kwau (shark) is bought from the shark-fishing specialists in the northern 

villages and presented. 

A custom related to the practice of kavagina is called vatala, which is an early warning system used when a chief is travelling to 

another village. As he walks along, someone walks beside him and when they come to the outskirts of a village the chief s companion 

calls out, 'Guyauuuu!'. By the time the chief enters the village, all are in respectful positions with their heads lower than that of the 

chief. Other customs relate to chiefly movement, such as someone blowing softly on a tauya, or a child walking before him carrying 

his yaguma on her head which would jingle as they walked, a surprisingly penetrating sound. All had the purpose of an early 

announcement of the chiefs imminent entry. 



98 



R. S. LAWTON 



Death Honours for a Chief 

A final and fitting example of koni is the death 
honours paid to a chief or to any of the gweguya. 
Mourning customs due to a clan member are of 
course the lot of all but the gweguya are mourned 
longer. His widow or widows will wear some of 
his personal adornment. Special dirges are sung 
during the mourning period. In times past these 
laments (called kavamwala) were sung morning 
and night for several months after the death. 

The mortuary exchange referred to above as 
sigiligula is often delayed for some years after the 
death of a high-ranking chief, as it is not every year 
that a yam harvest is large enough to do fitting 
honour to the deceased chief. As an example of this, 
one of the most powerful Tabalu chiefs, Mitakata, 
died in 1961, the year I first went to Kiriwina. When 
this paper was being first written in 1968, his 
mortuary sigiligula had not been held and his 
bwaima still stood in the village. Not until that 
mortuary distribution was held, several years after 
his death, could the yam house be ceremonially 
dismantled and destroyed, enabling the succeeding 
chief Vanoi to build his own bwaima and to assert 
the full glory of his chiefly standing. 

The koni of a chief or of the gweguya has been 
sketched above. However, the rank of the various 
dala from high to low cannot be seen until the 
actual limits of privilege for each dala are 
defined. This ordering of the koni of each dala, as 
delineated by my colleagues Antonio and Tolosi, 
I have set out in Appendix III. 

Chiefly Authority 

I now take up the second distinctive feature of 
the gweguya, the authority or karaiwaga which is 
accorded them by Kiriwinan society. 

The word karaiwaga in general use refers to 
the giving of orders, the wielding of authority, or 
the possession of special powers. It is a word with 
a very high functional load in Kiriwinan speech. 
In relation to a chief, karaiwaga refers to his area 
of authority, either the actual territory he rules 
over or the powers he exercises directly over the 
lives of his subjects. 



Vested in the regnant chief 

The right to exercise chiefly authority does not 
lie in the hands of all gweguya within a chiefly 
dala. Only those who actually hold office as chief 
of a village may be said to exercise chiefly 
karaiwaga. I have already noted that koni belongs 
in some measure to all the gweguya. But the dual 
possession of both koni and karaiwaga is the 
acknowledged right of the village chief only. This 
chief alone is addressed as guyau, and the total 
territorial area of his authority is referred to as la 
guyau, 'his area of chiefly power'. 

Only one chief holds authority over a village as 
its guyau. Each village is traditionally the territory 
of one particular sub-clan of gweguya and if there 
is one of the right sub-clan chosen to govern that 
village then he will have the position of chief. If 
the particular families which hold the traditional 
right to supply a chief for one village die out, then 
other families from within the same dala, but of 
lower rank, would supply the chief. Rarely does 
another sub-clan take over the chiefly role for that 
village. 

It has been pointed out that one dala does not 
occupy a cluster of villages so as to rule over a 
single area of territory. Rather, the chiefs of one 
particular sub-clan are chiefs for villages scattered 
over the whole area (Kiriwina Island and adjacent 
islands) 14 while other chiefs from different sub- 
clans rule villages between them. In any one 
village, when the highest-ranking man takes his 
position as guyau, other people of importance in 
that village and within the chief's own dala 
become members of a village advisory body 
known as kaidadala valu (see below). 

Succession to chieftainship 

The succession to chieftainship is necessarily 
someone chosen from within the chief's own 
dala. As the chiefs wife (or wives) do not belong 
to the chiefs kumila, the chiefs own biological 
children are not in the line of succession. The line 
of succession for the new chief is through the 
present chiefs sister's children. The eldest sister 
is the highest in rank, 15 so her sons will be 



See above, where Tabalu villages are named. See also the map in Appendix IV where the Tabalu villages are marked, showing that 
they are widely dispersed, with many other villages in between. 

Within each dala there are subdivisions descended from the six legendary female members of the first family. The eldest is termed 
the vilitomoya, the second isakaili, third and others iluluwala. and the youngest is vilagwadi. As membership of the dala is 
determined by matrilineal descent, the children of these six women are the data originators. The children of the vilitomoya are of 
the highest rank but if all the female descendants were to die out, then the descendants of the next dala originator in line would be 
of the highest rank. The Tabalu chief in Omarakana in 1968 was a descendant of the original vilitomoya of the Tabalu dala. This 
means he was very powerful but the title of 'paramount chief is a concept from outside Kiriwinan culture and does not really apply. 



THE CHIEFS OF KIRIWINA 



99 



candidates. The choice of which son is completely 
in the hands of the regnant chief and not 
necessarily the eldest son would be chosen. A 
wise chief would be guided by the opinions of his 
advisory group, the kaidadala valu, but the final 
choice is his. 

When the chief has chosen his successor, then 
the nephew chosen comes and lives in a house 
beside his uncle. He may live there for many years 
before the death of his uncle clears the way for 
him to become the new chief but by then he is 
known and accepted and has for many years 
watched his uncle and listened to the collective 
wisdom of the kaidadala valu. M 

Consideration of the extent of the karaiwaga 
authority of a chief must include two levels; one 
is the traditional ancient karaiwaga which myth 
and tradition claim for that chief and the second is 
the actual power a chief will be expected to hold 
even by those who no longer believe in his ancient 
powers. 

Traditional ancient authority 

The dala are arranged in this section in a 
descending order of authority. The highest 
ranking dala is the Tabalu dala, both as to koni 
and karaiwaga. The authority of the old Tabalu 
chiefs literally had no limits, as informants 
frequently have told me. They controlled the 



rising and setting of the sun and movements of 
the moon and stars. The wind and tides, both foul 
and fair weather, rain and dry spells all occurred 
because of their knowledge and manipulation of 
their magic powers. Some sicknesses, and death 
itself, was ruled by them. If the annual yam 
harvest was excellent or if there was grievous 
famine, the Tabalu chief was at the back of it. 
Certain special forms of magic, such as tokovasila 
and salokuva, and the possession of certain stones 
having terrifying magic powers, 17 belong to the 
Tabalu. 

Perhaps their most feared power of old was the 
communion they held with the dreaded bogau 
spirits and the death sorcery they worked through 
them. 18 This sorcery took various forms, 
culminating in the poisoning of the victim using 
either a slow-acting poison or one which killed 
the victim in a few hours. 

Of all these ancient powers, probably only the 
last-named is still retained and that, for the most 
part, in secret. The others are today largely ceded 
to the Christians' God. 

The second-highest dala was in times past the 
Sakapu (who bore the distinguished title of 
Toliwaga), a dala which is today almost extinct. 19 
The Wabali dala is replacing them in this position 
of second in chiefly rank as to karaiwaga. 20 

Their special area of authority was in matters of 
war. If war was to be fought between the 



I knew of one case where the chief changed his mind after the chief-elect had lived close by his uncle for many years. He considered 
his first choice had turned out to be lonunumata (stupid, lit. 'a person of dead mind'). So another nephew was established in the 
position and residence of honour. But when the old chief died, each of the nephews had a following and both claimed chiefly rank, 
so that considerable social unrest followed. The situation was never resolved and the split in chiefly authority has now been woven 
into the structure of chiefly power for that particular area. This demonstrates the flexibility of the system. 
I have been shown some of these and refused the viewing of one. 

If anyone had an enemy, or someone they considered blame-worthy on some count, they could go to aTabalu chief and get hisconsent 
for the death of that person. Such an act was costly and had to be paid for with veiguwa, (wealth items). If the chief agreed, then 
he was responsible to see that the victim died (either by his act or by the act of one under his direction) and to choose the manner 
of death. In this and other sorcery killings, the chief held a position akin to that of a public executioner except that the deaths were 
effected secretly. The high level of respect and fear traditionally accorded the Tabalu comes in large measure from this. 
The Sakapu dala was the one which from long ago bore the title of Toliwaga (which means 'Captain or owner of the boat'). This 
was conferred upon them by the Tabalu for some unknown favour in the past; the right to use the title is highly treasured and is 
currently in dispute. There were two subdivisions within the sub-clan which were considered of sufficiently high rank to hold both 
the koni and karaiwaga which marked them as Toliwaga; one (Tomwalu) is now extinct and the other (Uweilasi) in 1968 had one 
surviving member, Tonuwabu of the village of Kaitagava. According to my colleagues he is the last person able to bear rightfully 
the title of Toliwaga. See also the following footnote. 

The Wabali dala will take the place of the Sakapu when the two ruling subdivisions noted in the previous footnote are completely 
extinct. They are in fact in the process of taking this position over for themselves. (The process by which such a transfer of powers 
and privileges within the class system takes place would make an interesting study and clarify some of the mechanisms by which 
flexibility is maintained to ensure good fit between the ideal and the reality of chiefly status.) The present position appears to be 
that they have assumed most of the karaiwaga and koni formerly held by the Sakapu dala but there remains one last step — to possess 
for themselves the honoured title of Toliwaga. Some of the Wabali chiefs have in fact already done this. Many Kiriwinans are angry 
at their presumption but the Wabali dala seem to be holding the title without any retaliatory action being taken. There are still 
sections of the Sakapu dala which have a certain amount of koni but have no acknowledged right to possess karaiwaga. These are 
descended from the vilugugwadi (younger female members) of the dala. It is in this context worth noting that in the late 1990s the 
Kwainama dala is attempting to increase its chiefly rank 



100 



R. S. LAWTON 



traditional war zone territories of Kiriwina 21 , or 
with an outside enemy, the decision as to whether 
the zone would engage in war lay with the 
Toliwaga. If he said 'War!' it was war; if he said, 
Desi ('Stop!') then they did not prepare for war. 
Also he had the power (the recognised authority) 
to stop a war which was in progress between two 
groups of Kiriwinan warriors. As a symbol of this 
authority he held in his hand an ebony club 
{puluta) or walking stave (kaitukwa); if he went 
into the middle of a battle in progress and thrust 
the club or stick into the ground, this was the 
signal for fighting to cease. 22 

That this authority is still in some measure 
recognised is illustrated by the story of 
Mitigilagela. In 1943 when Kiriwina was 
occupied by some 3000 Americans and a small 
Australian force, and all resident Europeans had 
been evacuated by compulsory orders, there was a 
temptation for Kiriwinan people to plunder what 
had been left behind by missionaries and traders. 
Then Mitigilagela, a Toliwaga chief from 
Kabwaku, walked several miles from his own 
village to Oyabia (the central mission station of 
the Methodist Mission) and plunged his ebony 
club into the ground in the middle of the mission 
station. All who saw and heard of this knew that 
there was to be no advantage taken by the absence 
of European mission leaders, that they were not at 
war with them. So while the head station of 
another mission, and properties of other European 
residents, were stripped and devastated by thieves, 
Oyabia was not touched. The reason why 
Mitigilagela did this is not known, as he had no 
known connection with the Methodist Mission 
and no reason to feel obliged to help it. 23 

From this it may be seen that the authority of 
the Toliwaga was not restricted to his own village 



area and was generally recognised in a war-related 
matter. Although the Toliwaga' s karaiwaga has 
largely become irrelevant today, yet the Kiriwina 
people still recognise and obey him when he 
exercises his karaiwaga in its own proper sphere. 

The third in karaiwaga rank was the 
Mlobwaima, which had the right to prevent war. 
The difference between the traditional authority 
of this data and the Toliwaga seems to be that the 
Mlobwaima had the role of mediator or war- 
preventer but once the Toliwaga had pronounced 
for war, the Mlobwaima power was ended. He 
could not stop what had already started — only 
the Toliwaga could do this. 24 

Then comes the Kwainama data, which had a 
small area of authority in relation to the 
distribution of the food (i.e. yams) which 
rightfully belonged to a chief, separating it from 
the yams of the tokai and deciding what shares 
were to be allotted to the various ranks of 
gweguya. 

The ancient authority held by other lesser chiefs 
as distinct from that of the more powerful 
gweguya seems to be of little account. The chief 
of Omarakana village, Vanoi, a Tabalu of the 
highest possible rank, i.e. descended directly from 
the vilitomoya (eldest female member of the dala) 
declares that they are not in reality gweguya but 
merely tokwaraiwaga (men with authority). 
However, he looks down from a lofty eminence, 
scorning to recognise any powers they may have 
held; but other Kiriwinan informants from the 
lower ranks of gweguya do not support his 
viewpoint. 

Some of these latter suggest that the Mwauli 
and the Osusupa dala held powers similar to the 
Mlobwaima but to a much lesser extent, while 
Tudava dala had certain powers relative to sorcery 



The island of Kiriwina was traditionally divided into zones where each considered they had a particular loyalty in war. These zones 

are delineated in the map in Appendix IV. 

When he thrust the stick into the ground, the Toliwaga would say something like, Lawai gai. Gala bigabu valu! 'I have struck in 

the ebony; the village will not burn!' (in the case when warriors were preparing to bum the houses of an enemy village). When they 

met on the the traditional battle-ground of Duguveiyusa, between the villages of Omarakana and Kwaibwaga, he could secure 

cessation of the battle by laying a line of branches across the battle ground. Anyone from either side who crossed the line could be 

speared but if no-one crossed the line (called kaligei) then the battle was over. 

A Toliwaga had to be paid to perform his office. I did hear a rumour that a prominent church leader, Inose Ugwalubu, paid 

Mitigilagela in the traditional fashion with veiguwa and that he then went and performed his office. But I was never able to check 

this. 

Clearly there was much interplay between areas of karaiwaga. Due regard for Tabalu authority would have a place here as well. 

For only Tabalu could give the word that a person was to die and sometimes these deaths were effected within the melee of a 

traditional battle. Thus, there would have to be an understanding between Tabalu and Toliwaga regarding such a battle (which would 

prevent the Toliwaga from entertaining any Mlobwaima overtures) and the time of stopping a battle could depend on whether the 

Tabalu-sanctioned death had actually occurred. Thus the karaiwaga of a Toliwaga would have been in some measure subsidiary 

to the Tabalu in order to effect the death and the Mlobwaima karaiwaga would be in a position below that of the other two. 



THE CHIEFS OF KIRIWINA 



101 



which made them an unpopular group with little 
real standing in the community. 

The Kaitotu dala is said to have possessed no 
particular traditional ancient karaiwaga but only 
had koni. This was because the dala came long 
ago from Myuwa (Woodlark Island) where they 
had extensive powers; but when they migrated to 
Kiriwina their powers were not recognised. 
Instead they were given a limited amount of koni 
privilege so they do belong in the group of 
gweguya as I have defined them. 

The other three dala (Kailai, Kulutula, 
Bwaitaitu) are on the lowest level having a little 
koni and no ancient karaiwagaP 

Tabalu supremacy 

One thing that is clear from this study of 
ancient karaiwaga (as also is abundantly clear 
from the different levels of koni shown in 
Appendix III) is that the Tabalu dala is virtually 
in a class of its own above the gweguya, for both 
in ancient karaiwaga and in koni it is widely 
separated from all other dala. This was in fact 
what was asserted by Vanoi, who put the Tabalu 
(Fig. 6) at the top as the only real ruling class, 
named the Wabali (Toliwaga), Mlobwaima and 
Kwainama sub-clans as gweguya, and the other 
four as merely tokwaraiwaga. 

But (on the other hand) it may be said that his 
viewpoint is both typical of and worthy of a 
powerful Tabalu chief who must of necessity 
exercise his right of kautuwota. The general mass 
of Kiriwinan opinion does not separate the Tabalu 
dala totally but is emphatically unanimous in 



supporting the fact of Tabalu supremacy. Such 
supremacy may not be easily seen by looking at 
the outward manifestations of their ruling 
authority; but people remember the glories of their 
past and still hold them in honour today through 
the koni that is accorded them and by their daily 
expectation that kautuwota will set them apart 
from all others. 

Also (as one man told me quietly) everyone still 
fears the sorcery poisonings, which many believe 
still take place today; this fear will ensure the Tabalu 
of their supreme position for many years yet. 26 

Modern authority of chiefs 

I now look at those ruling powers which mark 
the day-to-day karaiwaga of a village chief. For 
purposes of ordering the daily life of the village it 
may be said that all village chiefs have 
approximately the same range of authority but 
those who are considered to be higher on the 
chiefly scale of rank are more likely to be 
effective in their exercise of that daily karaiwaga. 

The yam crop 

The ownership and disposal of the staple yam 
crop is the real foundation and purpose of any 
effective chieftainship. For it is the chiefs task 
and privilege to feed his people when necessary. 
Not that other members of the village community 
do not own food — they do; but the chief has great 
wealth in this regard, partly through his chiefly 
right to possess the best of certain yams and partly 
because of the annual yam harvests which must 



These three dala were named to me almost as an afterthought by my colleague Tolosi, a man of the Tabalu dala. I found that one 
of the present gweguya of Kiriwina (i.e. someone having recognised chiefly authority over a village) was Guyau Lubatolu of 
Kudukwaikela, of the Bwaitaitu dala. It is clearly the case that if he can be recognised as guyau of that village then he is one of the 
gweguya. But his level of karaiwaga within the totality at gweguya is on the lowest level. There are dala below the Bwaitaitu which 
have some koni but which cannot have any karaiwaga and so cannot ever become the guyau of a village. I was also told that the 
dala who possess no koni at all are very few in number. These dala therefore rank as tokai, as the gweguya comprise those who 
possess some koni and have a potential share of ancient karaiwaga. The limited koni of these lesser dala is in being allowed to wear 
certain ornaments for dancing, provided that the guyau first gives permission, and provided that they are taken off immediately after 
the dance is concluded. 

A former Governor-General of Australia, Bill Hayden, actually made reference to the eating of poisoned food by the Trobriand 
Islanders, in a 1995 speech supporting euthanasia! His astonishing assertion was that the food was consumed knowingly, because 
the consumer has elected to die, having the desire to put an end to a useless old age in the interests of society! 1 can assure him that 
this is never the case. I have it on reliable authority that secrecy and duplicity surround the preparation of the poison (which may 
be eaten, drunk or smoked) so that the consumer partakes in innocence. But as soon as he has swallowed, he knows; and recipes 
for powerful and revolting emetics have been dictated to me. I am told he may survive if he can vomit within minutes of swallowing; 
but if not, he knows he is marked for death and usually succumbs rapidly. Also, the consumers are never the 'useless' aged, whose 
continued life is treasured by a family, but generally hale and hearty men who have overstepped some social boundary and are being 
made to bear the penalty. The act of administering poison in this way may be expeditiously dubbed as execution or assassination, 
or bluntly as murder. 



102 



R. S. LAWTON 



by tradition be given each year to his wives by 
their brothers. 27 

This responsibility (and privilege) of feeding 
his people comes whenever the whole community 
is jointly engaged in a project of work, such as 
garden clearing, harvest, the building of major 
village structures, and at the time of pokala (tax). 

A task may be initiated by the chief calling the 
workers together and reaching an agreement with 
them (kabutu) for some task. Then they will eat 
the chiefs food 28 and afterwards go and work. 
While they work, the women cook more food 
supplied from the same source. 

When the month of Yavata comes (about 
February), when food is scarcest (this season of 
scarcity is called kuluvasaga), the chief will take 
all the yams from his bwainia and share them out 
to the whole village. 

When visitors from other villages come, as 
when kula trading canoes or canoes carrying clay 
pots for sale anchor off-shore, or when groups 
arrive on foot from neighbouring villages on some 
important visit, then it is the chiefs task to feed 
them. This task of hospitality is nowadays shared 
by the village pastor, the village councillor and 
the chief, according to the nature of the business 
occasioning the visit. 

The gardening cycle 

The chief's decision is required in the 
gardening cycle — which land is to be cleared for 
gardening, the time of planting, weeding and 
harvesting, the gathering-in of the harvested yams 
to the village for display and storage, and any 
other communal decisions affecting yams. 



However such decisions would be made in 
consultation with his councillors (the kaidadala 
valu) and in particular with the Towosi 29 or garden 
magician (if the village has one). 

The chief decides when the annual ceremony 
marking the conclusion of the harvest and the old 
year takes place. This Kiriwinan New Year 
celebration involves drumming the spirits of the 
dead out of the village (where, out of interest and 
with mischievous intent, they have been 'hanging 
round' throughout yoba, the harvest period!) so 
that they may return to their resting place, the 
island of Tuma, several miles west of Kiriwina 
Island. This ceremony may not be done every year 
but is one of the marks of a good harvest, when 
the spirits of the recently dead are expected to be 
part of the general rejoicing. 30 Everyone knows 
that if the spirits do not return to Tuma thoroughly 
satisfied with village affairs, some of them may 
be inclined to come back to their old homes, with 
uncomfortable and inconvenient results. 

It falls to the chief to decide whether the harvest 
has been sufficiently good to justify a period 
being spent in dancing (kaiwosi). Such a period, 
which occurs during the month following harvest, 
gives opportunity for all who have any level of 
koni to display it; for at this time bodies will be 
painted and oiled, hair bedecked with feathers and 
ornaments, and whatever ornaments each is 
permitted to wear will be made ready. After a day 
spent in preparation, there will follow a night of 
drumming and dancing, the old men singing the 
legends which each dance celebrates. But the 
chief would only decide on a time of dancing if 
he considered it acceptable; in some years the 
transition from harvest to preparation of the new 



The yams which are harvested by a household (man and wife) are the property not of that family but of the man's sister. His household 
will eat what is provided by his wife' s brother. Thus it follows that a chief with (say) six wives will have six complete harvests to 
store and dispose of each year. If he has married wisely, the men who produce his yams will be the skilled gardeners (tokwaibagula) 
of Kiriwina. A great deal of personal status attaches to a recognised tokwaihagula; he is the generator of social and political power, 
power which becomes the karaiwaga wielded by the chief. 

The two words 'food' (kaula) and 'yams' (either kuvi or taitu) are used inter-changeably by Kiriwinans; and I find myself falling 
into the same pattern as I write! Whenever I use the word 'food', it must be understood that things like sweet potato, tapioca and 
cooking bananas are not referred to, as these are not regarded as 'true food' (kaulotoula) but as something to eat when there is no 
'true food' available. Offhand I am not sure of the status of taro, for this is highly regarded; probably it falls into that other class of 
comestibles which includes pork, fish, crab and poultry, the things 'which season food' (biwaki kaula) and are used to mark very 
special occasions. 

The Towosi, who uses ancient magic spells at the inception of any community gardening activity, is a man greatly skilled in 
knowledge of the stars and the elements, especially in relation to the cycle of seasons. The magical side of the Towosi' s function 
is less in evidence today; he is more prominently an expert rather than a magician. 

This is a happy occasion when a special 'spirit food' made of mashed yams is baked in ground ovens, forming cakes the size of a large 
dinner plate. This food is laid out before food houses, and the village retires to rest, so the spirits can enjoy their feast. Then about 3 
a.m. the entire village population rises and assembles on the Eastern boundary of the village and sweeps through the village towards 
its Western extremity, with yells, beating pots, drums, etc, driving the replete spirits before them towards Tuma. It has been pointed 
out to me that of course the spirits eat their food because by morning not a single scrap of the spirit food is to be found anywhere. 



THE CHIEFS OF KIRIWINA 



103 



garden sites is so quick that there is no time for 
dancing. 

All of the current authority noted above has 
some connection with the gardening cycle. 
Because they rely on the yam as staple, the 
Kiriwinans are bound to the annual cycle of 
clearing, planting, weeding, harvest and storage, 
and thus any person holding authority over this 
succession is inevitably their ruler, calling the 
tune for each day's activity. 

Some today are prone to claim that the day of 
the chief is past and that the state of affairs 
described by Malinowski (e.g. in 'Coral Gardens 
and their Magic') no longer exists. This claim has 
no foundation in fact. Certainly many of the 
ancient powers are thought no longer to exist but 
the same was true in Malinowski's day, for many 
of the things he described were merely accounts 
of things Kiriwinan people said used to happen. 
These things aside, the chiefs authority in the 
gardening cycle is little changed from eighty years 
ago, and his position and power as chief are still 
sure and firm. 

The chiefs lime gourdl 

The lime gourd used by a chief, together with 
its accompanying spatula, often becomes a symbol 
or tool of chiefly authority. When the chief walks 
from one village to another, the gourd is 
sometimes carried before him by an underling. If 
he wishes to make a public statement, he will 
remove the stopper and insert the spatula and, as 
both stopper and spatula are liberally decorated 
with bwibwi (see Appendix II), this causes a loud 
jingling sound. Rattling the spatula in the mouth 
of the gourd is a signal for talking to cease so the 
chief may speak. A chief on the move is seldom 
without his yaguma (gourd) and kena (spatula) 
(see Fig. 6). The chiefly lime gourd usually has no 
decorative patterns engraved on it. 

Authority in other matters 

Other matters are also the responsibility of the 
chief to decide, such as the decision where a 
house may be built in the village, arbitration in 
disputes over land or marriage relationships, some 
decisions regarding village participation in kula 
trading, and so on. There is also the exercise of 
his authority in protecting the koni rights of the 



gweguya. The chief generally, and a Tabalu chief 
particularly, is the guardian and 'policeman' over 
the rights of personal adornment and the 
decoration of houses. 

Two examples of the exercise of this latter 
authority may be of interest. In the first, one of 
the gweguya was decorated for a dance wearing 
more of the mmakata^ plumes (Fig. 7) in his hair 
than tradition entitled him to wear. This had the 
effect of a public statement that he considered 
himself of higher standing than the chief. I do not 
know to what extent the chief acted personally — 
usually they are men of a dignified mien who 
leave action to their subjects — but in the resulting 
tangle between two villages, after the Government 
constabulary had restored order, some sixty men 
were given prison sentences for 'riotous 
behaviour'. 

In the second example, Vanoi, the Tabalu chief 
of Omarakana, told me that he was going to speak 
to the people of Tukwaokwa village to find out 
who had given permission for the local tourist 
hotel owned by a European to be decorated with 
the kaibilabeta? 1 motif. 'I am not angry with the 
European,' he explained, 'he doesn't know any 
better. If the Tabalu chief of Tukwaokwa has done 
this or consented to it, it is all right, the symbol is 
his property. But if any of the lesser gweguya or 
the tokai have done this, then I will ask them, 
"Why did you do this?" And I will see that they 
pay a fine because to take koni which doesn't 
belong to you and give it to someone else is 
stealing.' 

I need to note the existence and role of the 
village advisory group already referred to above. 
The chief rules his people with the assistance of a 
group of influential village men known as the 
council or kaidadala valu. Membership of this 
group is not restricted to gweguya, although all 
members of the gweguya living in that village 
seem to belong to it. Membership is determined 
by the possession of a bwaima (with yams stored 
in it), so that all members of the village who 
possess the food-wealth of the village have a say 
in the conduct of village affairs. The chief and the 
council meet in the village council house, the 
buneyova (Fig. 5). This building, as noted above, 
is the place where all the splendid 'feather of the 
village' yams are displayed and it may be 
decorated in addition with some of the chiefly 
house decorations listed in Appendix II. 



M See Appendices I and III for mmakata use and number permitted. 
33 See Appendix II for kaibilabeta decoration. 



104 



R. S. LAWTON 



The Chiefly Hierarchy 

I am now able to list the hierarchy of the chiefly 
dala of Kiriwina. They are first listed in their 
kumila in the order which my two Tabalu 
colleagues dictated. I then list the order of 
precedence which their level of koni indicates and 
the ranking they hold in respect of chiefly 
karaiwaga. The orderings are not mine but are 
those which my two colleagues say are correct. 

Readers may check their analysis against the 
differing levels of koni and karaiwaga that are 
shown in this paper. 

Ranks within the clans 

Table 1 shows the ordering of chiefly dala 
within each kumila. As already noted, there is 
little that holds kumila members together, apart 
from possessing certain things in common. 

Malinowski makes this clear (1932: 421) where 
he points out that 'in respect of rank, it is the sub- 
clan [the dala] rather than the clan that matters, 
and this holds good with regard to local rights and 
privileges . . . The clan is primarily a social 
category rather than a group . . . not of great 
importance . . . only to be seen at work in certain 
big ceremonies'. 

The kumila also attains some significance 
because of the exogamous marriage custom, 
which means that a chiefly family must look 
beyond the chiefly families of its own clan for 
marriage alliances. 

Chiefly rank in privilege and authority 

One interesting fact that emerged from this 
study is that the chiefly dala are perceived as 
ranking in a different order depending on whether 
one is considering the privileges (koni) that 
Kiriwinan society accepts for each, or whether 
one takes into account the traditional (often 
archaic) areas of authority (karaiwaga). 

In the case of privileges, the amount of koni 
which may be publicly displayed is often 
dependent on historic acts of 'grace and favour', 
where a dala of high rank has awarded one of low 
rank with some special privilege which thereafter 
elevates the recipient. 

In the case of authority, however, there is little 



TABLE 2. The ranking of chiefly dala according to 
koni and karaiwaga 



Ranking 


Koni 
(privilege) 


Karaiwaga 
(authority) 


1 


Tabalu 


Tabalu 


2 


Mlobwaima 


Wabali 


3 
4 


Mwauli 
Kwainama 


Mlobwaima 
Kwainama 


5 
6 

7 

8 

9 

10 


Osusupa 

Wabali 

Tudava 

Kaitotu 

Kailai 

Kulutula 


Mwauli 

Osusupa 

Tudava 

Kaitotu 

Kailai 

Kulutula 


11 


Bwaitaitu 


Bwaitaitu 



change, as modern authority is static and fairly 
uniform for all chiefly dala; thus traditional 
ancient authorities which do not change become 
the means of stating the position of a chiefly dala 
within the hierarchy. 

Table 2 sets out the rank of chiefly dala which 
Tolosi and Antonio considered correct, showing 
the different order for privilege (koni) and for 
authority (karaiwaga). The differences in order 
may not seem great to the outside observer but to 
members of that society, where a feather wrongly 
worn or a yam given to the wrong person is able 
to spark a major riot and precipitate a death, these 
apparently small differences are of major 
significance. Re-ordering does occur and is in fact 
in progress for some dala right now but it takes 
place very publicly and is finally effected with 
full community awareness of the new privileges 
which one dala is now able to display without 
incurring the anger of other members of that 
society. 



Concluding Comment 

The rather annoying conclusion which must be 
stated is that there can be no conclusion as yet. 
For even though Kiriwinan society has been 
extensively studied, there is yet much that has not 
been researched which would be valuable for a 
better understanding of the chiefly hierarchy. 33 



But see Powell (1960). This scholarly and well-researched paper does examine the economic forces at work in chiefly political 
activity but he explicitly leaves 'to other publications the full analysis of the main social institutions . . . namely those of rank and 
of kinship and marriage' (p. 118). 



THE CHIEFS OF KIRIWINA 



105 



I am aware that in answering some questions I 
am begging others. If I had further opportunity for 
field study, I would want to do the following: 

• examine the genealogical placing of all 
currently regnant chiefs within one dala; 

• put the same questions to members of dala 
other than Tabalu; 

• collect genealogies and lists of names 
peculiar to each kumila; 

• investigate the migrations of recent (but 
prior to 1890) arrivals in Kiriwina; 

• record each clan's origin stories and try to 
get a better understanding of clan structures; 

• study the historical and contemporary 
politics of the Toliwaga; 

• study recent Kwainama movements 
challenging Tabalu supremacy: 

• do a detailed study of at least one kaidadala 
valu; 

• identify the traditional chiefs who rule each 
village and map the pattern for each dala; 

• investigate the possibility of the Tabalu dala 
being descendants of immigrants who came 
to dominate an earlier culture. 

Much of this would have a bearing on the 
history of the rise of a class system which is, I 
believe, unique among the societies of Papua New 
Guinea. I find myself a little astonished that it is 
now almost 30 years since I first wrote this paper 
but still I am working on that language and 
studying that culture. If anything, the questions I 
would like answered increase with the years! 

Appendices 

Appendix I. Ornaments worn by the different 
class levels of the gweguya 

(NB. 'A. ' numbers refer to objects in the 
collections of the South Australian Museum) 

bunodoga — a belt of buna shells (Fig. 8(A), 
A.8871). 

bwibwi — small pieces of shell which jingle 
whenever an object or its wearer moves. They 
are attached as pendants to soulava, saveva, 
lime gourd stoppers, lime spatulas, etc. A 
high ranking chief would have many bwibwi 
as ornaments (see Fig. 6). 

ikwalasi — a pair of buna shells worn suspended 
from one side of the vivia, at front, or from 
the waist-band of a doba (A.52469). 

kaisapi — a bracelet of buna shells, worn on both 
wrists. 



kala doga — in its simplest form (Fig. 8(D,E), 
A. 8882, 8886), this ornament may be 
worn by the tokai. It consists of a boar's 
tusk which has grown into a circle (or the 
end cut off the large cone shell used in 
making a mwali, which has the same 
appearance), worn suspended from the 
neck by a string. When used by a chief 
the string is replaced by a small soulava, 
with the end tied behind his head, 
terminating in a buna shell. Clusters of 
bwibwi are added. A small katudababila 
may be used in place of the string or the 
beads. 

katudababila — a belt of kaloumwa discs, worn 
with or without the bunodoga. The number 
of lines of discs indicate the rank of the 
wearer, the maximum being five as worn by 
the Tabalu. A small katudababila or fragment 
of the same may be worn as part of a kala 
doga (q.v.) (Fig. 8(B), A.58657). 

kwasi — a woven arm-band made from a fern 
fibre (kusikwasi, kasuma, degila). There are 
three different forms: 

a) simplest, worn as a wide armband on 
each upper arm and known as kwasi 
kaewa (A.6\ 997, 62000). 

b) mlipwapwa worn on the upper arm, 
between the kwasi kaewa and the 
elbow, by all regardless of class. 

c) kwasi tilawa or mtuwetuwa, worn on the 

forearm by gweguya only, of greater 
width for higher ranks (Fig. 10, 
A.74493, 74494). 
An addition to the kwasi is the placement of 
scented leaves for important occasions, while 
some may add long streamers of wowona 
(pandanus); these are called bisila and 
indicate that there is some particular reason 
for rejoicing, or some project of considerable 
importance in progress 

lubakaidoga — a pair of buna shells worn on the 
leg just below the knee (A.66709). 

luluboda - an anklet of buna shells worn on both 
legs; pairs of buna shells (known in this use 
as puluweiwa) are sometimes suspended from 
this ornament. 

mmakata — a long plume made up of two or 
three long feathers joined end to end, 
decorated along the side with the red breast 
feathers of the karaga parrot; worn in the hair 
for dancing. 

midimidi — small woven leaf streamers (see 
kwasi) tied to the wrists for dancing. 



106 



R. S. LAWTON 



saisai — buna shells tied to the hair at the back 
of the head (A.52469). 

saveva — a headband consisting of a (usually) 
single line of kaloumwa discs worn across 
the forehead (Fig. 6; Fig. 8(C), A.8875). 
Higher ranks wear this with the addition of 
pairs of buna shells suspended from it. The 
pairs of shells are called bunavigula. 

segadulu — a soulava 'necklace' terminating in a 
large buna shell or pearl-shell crescent, with 
bwibwi made of scraps of pearlshell, etc (A. 
55332). This is worn suspended from the 
back of the head, letting the beads hang down 
behind usually to about the buttocks* longer 
for higher ranks. 

soulava — a necklace of kaloumwa discs 
(A. 17925). The length varies considerably, 
from 40cm to 150cm, and may be single or 
double; the longest are worn crossed across 
the breast and are called tabala. 

tabala — a long soulava worn crossed (see Fig. 
6). 

Appendix II. Houses, house decorations and 
other objects used by gweguya 

(NB. 'A. ' numbers refer to objects in the 
collections of the South Australian Museum) 

Houses: 

buneyova — the council house of the chief, where 
he meets with his kaidadala valu. The 
buneyova usually has a raised platform where 
the chief sits elevated above others for due 
observance of kavagina. In the buneyova are 
hung the best long yams on display; fifteen or 
twenty may hang there at harvest time, and 
the number dwindles as obligation payments 
are made, leaving only the one or two kala 
dagula valu which are never given away. 

bwaima — the yam storehouse, built near the 
ligisa and decorated in manner similar to it. It 
is always the biggest yam storehouse in the 
village and is placed in a prominent position 
for the public exhibition of the annual yam 
crop. 

ligisa — the chief's sleeping house (see Figs 3, 
9), erected in highest point of the village, 
often elaborately decorated with items listed 
below; walls made of niniva (sago palm 
walling), the use of which is reserved for 
chiefly dwellings. 



etc) and decorated discs (eg. A. 9728) 
mounted on the salala sticks (see below). 

kaduguwai — a pole projecting from the ridge 
pole of the ligisa at the apex of the decorated 
gable (also on the bwaima and buneyova); it 
may be 2 to 3 metres long, decorated with 
clusters of crescent-shaped coconut husks 
lashed at several points along the pole. Each 
cluster of six or seven husk segments is called 
a kovisalu. Each house so decorated may 
have eight or nine kaduguwai projecting from 
each end of the ridge pole (see Fig. 3). 

kaibilabeta — a carved house board which is the 
base of the triangle formed by gable boards. 

kaisikalu — another house board which is placed 
vertically in the centre of the gable, the base 
resting on the kaibilabeta. 

kaivalapula — the two gable boards (carved and 
painted), the usual motif being the udowala 
(a bird). 

kapiwa — a rope decorated at several intervals 
with buna shells which hangs from the gable 
peak or the kaduguwai pole of the ligisa, 
terminating in a cluster of several buna shells. 
The length varies with the rank of the resident 
chief, those belonging to the Tabalu chief 
almost touching the ground. 

laba — a smaller version of kaibilabeta used on 
the gable of the bwaima (yam storehouse — 
see Fig. 4); a difference in the gable 
construction is that no niniva (sago palm 
walling) is used in the centre of the gable 
construction. 

salala — spiked sticks projecting a metre or so 
from the roof down each side of the gable of 
the ligisa (see Fig. 3); gola (see above) are 
sometimes mounted on them. 

tataba — a portable houseboard suspended 
usually under the kaibilabeta, carved and 
decorated with motifs similar to the 
kaibilabeta (A.55309; see also Fig. 4 where 
the chiefs tataba, complete with shells, is 
hung). Under the tataba hang three or four 
rows of buna shells (about 30 shells in each 
row). The number of rows gives some 
indication of the owner's rank. When a chief 
dies, the tataba complete with buna shells 
will decorate his grave for some years. The 
chief may give his support to some public 
event by loaning his tataba, which would be 
hung on public display. 



House decorations: 

gola — small carvings (of birds, bats, crocodiles, 



Other chiefly items: 

kaitukwa — the ebony stave used by the Toliwaga 



THE CHIEFS OF KIRIWINA 



107 



as a symbol of his authority; an ebony club 
ipuluta) also could be used for this. 

kena — the lime spatula, which for a chief is 
large and fine, usually made of bone (eg. 
A. 19699), and extensively decorated as noted 
for the yaguma, the addition of many bwibwi 
giving audible prominence to every flourish 
of the chiefly lime spatula. In times past the 
bone used was that of a deceased relative (a 
leg or arm bone). The rattling of the kena in 
the mouth of the yaguma, which for all others 
is done in a subdued or gentle way, is for the 
chief a statement of his authority, being done 
in a pronounced fashion in accordance with 
kautuwota, and being used to call for silence 
or to announce his intention to speak to the 
village (see Fig. 6, where chief Pulitala holds 
his kena in his right hand). 

tauya — the shell trumpet, the use of which is 
reserved for chiefly concerns, or used only 
with chiefly permission. 

yaguma — the lime gourd (e.g. A. 1 9700) used in 
the social process of betel-nut chewing 
(kaui)\ while everyone has his lime gourd, 
that used by the chief is much larger, 
elaborately embellished with many bwibwi 
(hanging decorations), with a doga (pig's 
tusk) stopper much larger than others, and 
frequently a rope for wearing it suspended 
from the shoulder or with a special basket for 
carrying (see Fig. 6). 

Appendix III. Hierarchy in koni 

Seepages 108-109. 

Appendix IV. War zones 

The island of Kiriwina was in former times 
divided into areas each of which was unified by 
common loyalty in times of war. On occasions, 
two or three zones would make an alliance and so 
fight another group or groups. The political 
loyalty that this implies is still recognised today 
although the highly formalised acts of war no 
longer take place. 

The Northern section of Kiriwina Island shown 
on the map (Fig. 11) was divided into Five zones 
which had a collective loyalty in war. These five 
groups fought or raided one another but did not 
go out to the nearby islands of the Trobriands, nor 
did they go to the part of Kiriwina Island south of 
Kwabula. These zones are as follows: 



North-west section 
North-east section 
Central section 
South-west section 
South-east section 



Wakaisa 

Kulakaiwa 

Katumatala 

Kuboma 

Luba 



Traditionally, Katumatala and Kuboma were 
called in by Wakaisa to fight Kulakaiwa, or by 
Kulakaiwa to fight Wakaisa. Their services were 
bought with veiguwa. If Kulakaiwa was 
successful in buying their services, these two 
hired areas would congregate at Obwelia or 
Okaikoda to eat (the custom of kabutu), and then 
prepare for battle. They would paint their bodies 
(biputumasi), decorate their hair with feathers 
(bikalaisi) and work up a battle fervour by certain 
dances (biseiwausi) before going to the battle- 
ground. If Wakaisa was the successful bidder in 
hiring their services, they would congregate at 
Yalaka for the same meal and battle preparation. 

War took two forms. The warriors would go to 
a village or succession of villages, burning the 
houses, killing pigs and destroying food gardens. 
Or else they would assemble to fight an opposing 
force of warriors at the traditional battle-ground 
Duguveiyusa (close to Omarakana village). 34 If the 
latter form was chosen, all the women went along 
to watch. Such battles were highly formalised and 
deaths were generally those which the Tabalu 
chief had decided would take place. 

It is recorded of one such battle that when all 
the warriors were drawn up ready to begin, it was 
found that the sun shone into the eyes of one side, 
giving their opponents an unfair advantage; so the 
disposition of both sides was re-arranged to even 
things up, after which battle was joined. Some of 
these battles are described in detail in Seligman 
1910: 663-668. 

Villages that are traditionally ruled by Tabalu 
data chiefs are noted in the map (Fig. 11) by 
suffixing (T) to the village name. 

Appendix V. Chiefly terms used in Bible 
translation 

Translation is never a mere substitution of 
words which 'mean the same'. The cultural 
context of any word used in a translation is 
all-important if a translator wishes his 
readers to enter into the same understanding 
of a translated text as the original hearers 
had. 

Thus words from or related to the chiefly 



This area is still used today for competitive cricket matches! 



108 



R. S. LAWTON 



Appendix III. Hierarchy in koni 



Koni 


TABALU 


MLOBWAIMA 


OSUSUPA 


MWAULI 


KWAINAMA 


(privileges) 












saveva 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 


saveva with bwibwi 


+ 


- 


— 


- 


- 


mmakata (no.) 


10 or 11 


4 


1 or 2 


2 


3 or 4 


tabala 


+ 


- 


- 


- 


- 


luluboda 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 


luluboda with 


8 


4 


- 


- 


- 


puluweiwa (no.) 












katudababila (men; 


5 


4 or 3 


4 or 3 


4 or 3 


4 or 3 


no. of rows) 












lubakaidoga 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 


segadulu 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 




3 or 4, long 


2, short 


short 


short 


short 


kaisapi 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 


mtuwetuwa 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 




wide 


narrow 


narrow 


narrow 


narrow 


ikwalasi 


+ 
women only 


+ 
men & women 


- 


- 


- 


saisai 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 


bunodoga (if 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 


katudababila 












not worn) 












bunodoga 


+ 


+ 


- 


- 


- 


(women with 












puluweiwa) 












vilayawa (no. 


many 


3 or 2 


1 


1 


2 if women 


of wives) 










agree 


kaibilabeta 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 


laba but 




- 


- 


- 


- 


no niniva 












kaisikalu 


+ 


- 


- 


- 


- 


kaivalapula 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 


tataba (no. of 


many 


5 to 3 


3 


3 


3 


rows of buna) 












kapiwa 


+ 
long 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 


kaduguwai 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 


gola & salala 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


youlala 


+ 


+ 


+ 
little 


+ 
little 


+ 



THE CHIEFS OF KIRIWINA 



109 



WABALI TUDAVA KAITOTU KAILAI KULUTULA BWAITAITU TOKAI 



10 or ll 1 lor 2 



1 or 2 



1 or 2 



1 or 2 



1 or 2 



4 or 3 



4 or 3 



3 (low) 



3 (low) 



3 (low) 



3 (low) 



2 or 1 (low) 



+ 


+ 




+ 


short 


short 




+ 


+ 


+ 


arrow 


narrow 



+ 
narrow 



+ 

+ 

short 

+ 
narrow 



+ 

+ 

short 

+ 
narrow 



+ 

+ 

short 

+ 
narrow 



+ 
+ 



+ 

+ 



Some data 



5 or 4 



2 if women 
agree 

+ 
+ 



+ + 

(no paint) 

3 3 



+ 
+ 
+ 



+ 
little 



+ 
little 



+ 
little 



+ 
little 



This is a special favour accorded the Wabali by the Tabalu because long ago the Wabali rendered them a 
service and this koni is their payment. It is called kulututu paila mapula tomota {Kulututu for the price 
(answer) of a person) but no one today remembers why, or what the service was. 



110 



R. S. LAWTON 



hierarchy of Kiriwinan culture have a necessary 
place in translation of hierarchical concepts, but they 
must be used with care lest the full local equivalence 
of a term enters into and distorts the translation of 
what is essentially a foreign culture concept. 

As an example, the island Tuma (to which the 
spirits of dead Kiriwinans go) could be seen as an 
excellent translation for Hades or similar words 
used in the Bible for the shadowy abode of 
departed spirits. But Kiriwinans believe that it is 
only their spirits which abide there. They know, 
for instance, that the Dobu people's spirits go to a 
mountain near Dobu called Bwebweso. So using 
Tuma as a substitution for Hades, implying that 
the spirits of the prophet Samuel and King Saul 
are mixing with those of Kiriwinan chiefs of 
renown, would not be appropriate. However the 
presence and understanding of Tuma is too 
valuable to be cast aside. So it may be used to 
elucidate a transliteration of Hades (Edesi) by 
adding a reference like Baisa mina Yudia idokaisi 
Tuma, si valu tomata. 'This is what the Jews call 
their place Tuma, the village of the dead' (as was 
done in Luke 16.23). Or on occasions it is entirely 
appropriate to substitute Tuma for Sheol (an 
equivalent for Hades), as in Psalm 6.5 'In the 
world of the dead you are not remembered' (gala 
availa biluluwaim metoya mapilana Tuma). 

I comment here on some words from within the 
lexicon of the Kiriwinan chiefly hierarchy, which 
I have used in Bible translation. 

First, use of the word guyau. This has been 
taken to be a superlative title of overlordship, and 
so has been used for some translations of the 
Greek term Kurios — for the divine name, 'Lord' 
and for the title given to Jesus after his 
resurrection. It is also used where rank is 
indicated, as in Matthew 9.34, si guyau baloma 
gaga, 'the chief of the evil spirits'. We have had 
to be careful over its use at other times, where it 
was used as a means of respectful address, on 
occasions to Jesus or to the disciples, and to some 
others. For these occasions we have used another 
title of respectful address which is used for 
anyone regardless of rank or nationality (tomoya, 
'old man'; or toboma, 'distinguished one'). 
Another of the uses of guyau, as a reference to 
the area in which a chiefs authority applied, was 
entirely correct in John 18.36, ulo guyau gala 
metoya ovalu watanawa 'my authority (kingdom) 
is not from this world'. 



The Greek term doxa, 'glory' (with similar 
Hebrew equivalents as kabod) has been in part 
served by chiefly terms describing the greater 
decoration of the chiefs person, his superior koni. 
When in reference to any earthly glory, as in 
Matthew 4.8, 'kingdoms in all their greatness', or 
the richly adorned Temple in Luke 21.5, the term 
kala katububula 'his (its) adornment' is adequate. 
But when 'Solomon arrayed in all his glory' 
(Matthew 6.29) is translated, the term which is 
applied to a chief when he is wearing his full 
extent of koni is precise and accurate, kala 
kalugologusa. In fact this is an instance in which 
the highly specific Kiriwinan term is a more 
accurate statement of the meaning and intention 
of Jesus's word than the comparatively weak 
Greek original! 

The chief's house, ligisa, sometimes 
spectacular in its decoration, is forbidden to all 
but the chief himself. It is the highest structure in 
the village, with its floor frequently on a level 
with the ridge-poles of other houses, most of 
which are built on the ground. Only the chief is 
allowed to enter it and anyone daring to break the 
prohibition would be marked for death. Thus we 
have used ligisa for the Holy of Holies within the 
Jewish Temple, which the High Priest alone may 
enter and at that only once a year. 

The chiefs council-house, buneyova, has been 
used to translate God's judgment seat, for it is in 
the buneyova that the chief makes his decisions; 
and if he is involved in settling disputes amongst 
his people or deciding village matters, then from 
the buneyova and in the hearing of all he makes 
his pronouncements. Thus buneyova conveys to 
the people the idea of a place where the rights and 
wrongs of a case are considered and decided on. 
It was also used in Matthew 26.3 to define the 
place where the chief priests and elders met and 
decided to have Jesus killed. 

The annual tax, pokala, due to a chief comes 
into obvious use for temple tax, taxes due to 
Rome, etc. The only thing against it is that the 
Roman authorities, unlike Kiriwinan chiefs, did 
not do the grand thing and immediately respond 
with a feast! 

The physical act of reverence given to a chief, 
kavagina, while not so pronounced now as in old 
times, 35 is very strongly imprinted on Kiriwinan 
people's daily behaviour in the way they show 
respect. This affects cross-cultural behaviour 



35 See, for instance, Monckton 1921:91, where the traditional kavagina accorded Guyau Enamakala is described; kavagina today is 
not practised to the level Monckton describes. 



THE CHIEFS OF KIRIWINA 



111 



patterns which are often mis-interpreted. Thus to 
stand alert before a seated person in authority, 
which a European may consider both polite and 
proper, a Kiriwinan would interpret as belligerent 
and rude. He would immediately sit, an action the 
European may see as a careless act in defiance of 
authority! For biblical reference to a physical 
posture adopted in honour of someone, kavagina 
is accurately used in many instances where the 
translation of actual words would be misleading. 
When the leper 'falls down before' Jesus, or in 
expressions like 'threw himself down' before 
Jesus or 'fell on his knees before the king', their 
literal translation would convey the message of 
some accidental fall or movement not involving 
reverence; whereas ikavagina omatala 'he 
reverence-stooped before him' shows clearly the 
bodily posture and the purpose of it. He is 
approaching the chiefly figure in an attitude of 
reverence and with the intent of petitioning or 
thanking. Degrees of reverence may also be 
defined by describing how low the stooping act 
is, which adds to the precision of translation in 
some cases (e.g. 2 Samuel 1.2, 'He bowed to the 
ground in respect'). 

The word karaiwaga comes into translation a 
lot, as it bears a high functional load in the 
language and can be used in many contexts 
denoting Jewish Law, giving orders, authoritarian 
acts, etc. Because of its role in describing chiefly 
authority, it has had ready application to the New 
Testament concept conveyed by the Greek 
basileia theou, 'Kingdom of God'. It may be even 
more specific, more accurate, in describing the 
nature of that concept than the English translation 
which brings to mind a territorial rather than an 
authority area of rule. 

The chiefly practice of agreeing on consultation 
with his people and sealing the agreement with a 
meal, known as kabutu, is the best equivalent yet 
found for 'covenant'. When the chief and people 
kabutu for some work, it means that the people 
have agreed to do what the chief asks and he in 
turn agrees to provide for them while they do that 
work. Thus this word has become the term used 
for 'Old Testament' and 'New Testament' 
(Kabutubogwa, Kabutuvau), the terms describing 
those books which tell of God's relationship with 
his people. 

The term koni has the dual reference either to a 
physical load anyone may carry, or to the special 
prerogatives of chiefly rank (recalling the old and 
rather unfortunate term, 'white man's burden'). 
While generally used for burdens borne, it is 
rightly used in Luke 22.29, isakaigu ulo koni 



bayosi karaiwaga, tuvaila makawala asakaimi mi 
koni bukuyosisi mi karaiwaga ('he has given me 
the right to rule, so I will give you the same 
right'). Also in John 1.12, si koni matausina 
(bimila litula Yaubada) correctly translates 'their 
right (to become children of God). Thus the text 
may refer to special privileges and rights which 
others recognise as belonging to some, the 
possession of which becomes an obligation to 
their use in the correct way. 

Many other words listed above could be shown 
as appearing in translation but I think those listed 
here are the major ones in which an understanding 
of their role within the chiefly hierarchy has 
enabled translators to make a proper and highly 
specific use of them. 

Some words have been carefully excluded. For 
example, Tabalu (to describe rulers of high rank) 
has not been used, lest it should seem that the 
Bible gave specific commendation of one social 
group in Kiriwina! 

Also the term kautuwota, which describes the 
chief as being the 'mostest' in any field, or the 
loudest in any situation, should have a proper 
place somewhere. But to date I have not been able 
to bring it to bear on any passage; either to 
describe supremacy in God (which may well be 
good) or to show loud-mouthed bragging or harsh 
authority (which could be dangerous). 



Appendix VI. 


Lexicon of words used in this 




study 


bagula 


food garden 


baloma 


spirit 


bisila 


a pandanus 


bogau 


dangerous spirit 


bomileilai 


house decoration 


bubuna 


dove 


bugwa 


species of yam 


buna 


eggshell cowrie 


buneyova 


council house 


bunodoga 


shell belt 


bunukwa 


Pig 


bwaima 


yam storehouse 


bwala 


house 


bwibwi 


a decoration 


dagula 


feather 


dala 


matrilineal sub-clan 


danuma 


species of yam 


degila 


a weaving string 


desi 


stop 


digulela 


its feather 


doga 


tusk 



112 







R. S. LAWTON 




gabu 


to burn 


kwasitilawa 


chiefs armband 


gai 


ebony 


kwau 


shark 


gala 


no, not 






gegila 


a parrot 


la 


his, her, its 


gola 


carved ornament 


laba 


a houseboard 


gugwadi 


children 


ligisa 


chiefs house 


guyau 


chief 


liliu 


legend 


gwadi 


child 


lubakaidoga 


shell cluster 


gweguya 


chiefs 


luluboda 


shell anklet 


ikwalasi 


shell cluster 


mamila 


a fish 


iluluwala 


next in line 


midimidi 


flag 


isakaili 


second in line 


milamala 


harvest month 






mina 


people of 


kabutu 


agreement 


mitakaka-nukula 


chiefly splendour 


kaduguwai 


house pole 


mlipwapwa 


narrow armband 


kaibilabeta 


a houseboard 


mluveka 


eagle 


kaidadala 


council 


mmakata 


feather plume 


kailavasi 


goanna 


mtuwetuwa 


chiefs armband 


kaimelu 


a death custom 


mwali 


wealth armband 


kaisapi 


shell bracelet 


mwedamwada 


type of yam 


kaisikalu 


a houseboard 






kaitukwa 


walking stave 


niniva 


sago leaf walling 


kaivalapula 


gable boards 






kaiwosi 


dancing 


paila 


for 


kala 


his, her, its 


pokala 


tax 


kaligei 


boundary 


puluta 


club 


kaloumwa 


a red shell 


puluweiwa 


shell cluster 


kalugologusa 


chiefly splendour 






kanekukwa 


to hang down 


sagali 


a distribution 


kapiwa 


spider web 


saisai 


shell cluster 


karaga 


a parrot 


salala 


house ornament 


karaiwaga 


authority 


salokuva 


type of magic 


kasuma 


a weaving string 


saveva 


a headband 


katububula 


adornment 


sawila 


a chant 


katudababila 


shell belt 


segadulu 


a necklace 


kaukwa 


dog 


sigiligula 


a death custom 


kaula 


food 


soulava 


wealth necklace 


kaulotoula 


true food 






kautuwota 


act chiefly 


tabala 


a necklace 


kavagina 


act of reverence 


taitu 


the staple yam 


kavamwala 


a dirge 


taitukesa 


type of yam 


keiyuna 


snake 


tataba 


a houseboard 


kena 


lime spatula 


tauya 


shell trumpet 


koni 


burden, privilege 


tokai 


commoner class 


kovisala 


house ornament 


tokovasila 


type of magic 


kula 


wealth trading 


tokwaibagula 


expert gardener 


kulututu 


mortuary payment 


tokwaraiwaga 


an authority 


kuluvasaga 


scarcity 


tolela 


a man of 


kumila 


clan 


toliwaga 


captain of boat 


kusikwasi 


a weaving string 


tomoya 


old man 


kuvi 


yam family 


tonunumata 


stupid person 


kuvibanena 


large yam 


towosi 


garden magician 


kuvipiti 


long yam 






kwasi 


woven armband 


udowala 


a bird 


kwasikaewa 


wide armband 


valu 


village, place 



THE CHIEFS OF KIRIWINA 



113 



vatala 


respect 


waki 


to season (food) 


veiguwa 


wealth items 


wowona 


streamers 


vila 


a woman of 






vilagwadi 


youngest female 


yaguma 


lime pot 


vilayawa 


many wives 


yavata 


month of dearth 


vilitomoya 


eldest female 


yawali 


a death custom 






yoba 


harvest time 


waga 


canoe 


youlala 


painting on houses 


wai 


to strike 








FIGURE 1. Antonio Lubisa Bunaimata with a chief's 
lime gourd (Note: chiefs lime gourds are usually plain, 
lacking the curvilinear designs of this one) (Photo: R. 
Lawton, 1968). 



FIGURE 2. Young man of Tukwaokwa village wearing 
his father's chiefly wealth (Photo: D. Lawton, 1994). 



114 



R. S. LAWTON 




FIGURE 3. Chiefs house (ligisa). Note gable boards FIGURE 4. Chief of Kavataria village in from of his 
(kaivalapula) and tataba with pendant buna shells; the yam storehouse (bwaitna) (Photo: R. Lawton, 1991). 
kaduguwai project from the peak of the gables (Photo: 
R. Lawton. 1972). 



iS^ n l 




FIGURE 5. A chiefs council house (buneyova) at Omarakana displaying the long yams (kala dagula valu) lashed 
between two poles (Photo: R. Lawton, 1972). 



THE CHIEFS OF K1RIWINA 



115 








FIGURE 7. Dancers wearing mmakata plumes which 
FIGURE 6. Pulitala, a Tabalu chief, holding his lime stand above their white cockatoo feather head-dresses 
gourd and spatula (Photo: R. Lawton, 1972). (Photo: R. Lawton, 1972). 

N 

V 




*~^ M 



FIGURE 8. Chiefly ornaments in the South Australian Museum collections (Photo: Elizabeth Murphy, Artlab). A. 
A belt of small buna shells (bu/wdoga) A.8871. B. A belt of kaloumwa shell discs (katudababila) A. 58657. C. A 
headband of kaloumwa shell discs with pendant buna shells (saveva) A. 8875. D. A necklace of kaloumwa shell 
discs with pair of pig tusks attached (kala doga) A. 8882. E. A necklace of kaloumwa shell discs with shell ring 
attached (kala doga) A. 8886. 



116 



R. S. LAWTON 




FIGURE 9. Gable of chief's house (ligisa) at Omarakana. Note gable boards (kaivalapula) on either side, central 
vertical gable board (kaisikalu), the kaibilabeta at the base of the gable and the tataba with three rows of buna 
shells below that (Photo: R. Lawton, 1972). 






FIGURE 10. Chiefly ornaments in the South Australian Museum collections. A pair of woven armbands (mluwetuwa) 
(A. 74493, -4) and head ornament (saisai) of buna shells (A.52469) (Photo: Elizabeth Murphy, Artlab). 



THE CHIEFS OF KIRIWINA 



117 



Tubowada* 
Kolikwau* 




,, -<^\ I ^ •Kapwani 
Kaibola* y •idaleka ^ 



\ 



s"~ *Yuwada 

\*Labai KULAKAIWA / 



\ *Mtawa 
» # Liluta / 

Kolikwau* /spl^oyimes) 

Bwaitavaiya* J •Kwaibwaga 
WAKAISA + * ♦ DUGUVEIYUSA 

• * ** i 

•Kuluvitu '©Omarakana (T) 

i"-^ 1 

OkaikocJa# 

K'ATI IIUATAI /^ 



Oiliesi 



Okaikod,a # v t*>ulawota 

KATUMATALA/ N / 

Yalaka Obwelia. / y^ 

.-,- ^* **• ^ r, 9 . .. . / *Yalumgwa 

Wiesi # *- — «., BuduwailakaV ' / 

Lobua* ^-^ / I 

Siviyagila Luya*^^' •MoiigHagj 
• •Wabutuma \* 

KUBOMA Kud U ukwaikela # / ^^ 

Gumilababa (T) # / •Oluvilevi 

Kavataria^F)*-^— ^J •okupukopi 

•Vilalima 

,Sap ° la# .Kaituvi 
•Kwabul 




! e=3 :-* 







TROBRIAND 
ISLANDS 

(^—KIRIWINA 



*■& 



AUSTRALIA 



FIGURE 1 1 . Map of the northern part of Kiriwina, showing the five war zones. 



R. S. LAWTON 



Acknowledgments 

Especial thanks to my wife Margaret for editing 
this paper and casting it into its present form. 



References 

Note: This paper is a study of the Kiriwina 
chiefly hierarchy as viewed by two high-ranking 
Tabalu in 1967. For this reason I merely glanced 
at the literature and so the references are few. The 
reader is referred to the excellent bibliography in 
Weiner 1976: 261-273 which inter alia includes 
the major references in other works to the 
Kiriwinan chiefly order. There are undoubtedly 
more recent references of which I am unaware. 



MALINOWSKI, B. 1922. 'Argonauts of the Western 
Pacific'. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. 

— 1932. 'The Sexual Life of Savages'. (3rd Ed.) 
London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. 

— 1935. 'Coral Gardens and Their Magic'. (Vol.1) 
London: Allen & Unwin. 

MONCKTON, C. A. W. 1921. 'Some Experiences of a 
New Guinea Resident Magistrate'. London: John 
Lane, The Bodley Head. 

POWELL, H. A. 1960. Competitive Leadership in 
Trobriand Political Organisation. Journal of the 
Royal Anthropological Institute 90:118-148. 

SELIGMANN, C. G. 1910. 'The Melanesians of British 
New Guinea'. Cambridge: Cambridge University 
Press. 

WEINER, A. 1976. 'Women of Value, Men of Renown: 
New Perspectives in Trobriand Exchange'. Austin: 
University of Texas Press. 



REDISCOVERY OF ENOCHRUS PEREGRINUS IN AUSTRALIA 
(COLEOPTERA, HYDROPHILIDAE) 

C. H. S. Watts 



Summary 

In a recent paper (Watts, 1998) I cast strong doubts on the record of Enochrus peregrinus Knisch, 
1922 from Australia. This record was based on a single collection of three specimens from Sydney 
prior to 1921 only one of which survives. It has not been collected since. In addition, E. peregrinus 
belongs in the subgenus Enochrus (Watts 1998) which is otherwise only known from the Holarctic 
region. I report here the recent collections of two additional specimens. One specimen is male 
which allows the description of the male genitalia for the first time. 



REDISCOVERY OF ENOCHRUS PEREGRINUS IN AUSTRALIA 
(COLEOPTERA, HYDROPHILIDAE) 



In a recent paper (Watts 1998) I cast strong 
doubts on the record of Enochrus peregrinus 
Knisch, 1922 from Australia. This record was 
based on a single collection of three specimens 
from Sydney prior to 1921 only one of which 
survives. It has not been collected since. In 
addition, E. peregrinus belongs in the subgenus 
Enochrus (Watts 1998) which is otherwise known 
only from the Holarctic region. I report here the 
recent collection of two additional specimens. 
One specimen is a male which allows the 
description of the male genitalia for the first time. 

The specimens were both collected from a 
small shallow drainage ditch in an area of peaty 




FIGURE 1. Dorsal view of apical portion of male 
genitalia of E. peregrinus. 



soil three kilometres north of Bulli in New South 
Wales, the first on 2/11/1997 and the second on 
27/11/1998. This locality is some 50 kilometres 
south of Sydney, the only previously known 
locality. The specimens are now in the collection 
of the South Australian Museum. 

The dorsal surface of the specimens is as 
previously described. Ventral surface (which has 
not been previously described): dark testaceous to 
black with appendages slightly lighter; evenly and 
quite strongly rugose/punctate, covered with short 
fine setae including the femora; mesosternal keel 
narrow, well developed, sharply triangular in side 
view, with a low, sharp ridge extending 
backwards between the mesocoxae. 

Male: central lobe of aedeagus relatively thin, 
bluntly pointed, apical pad weak, collar closer to 
tip than to base; parameres narrowing towards 
tips, which are rounded and slightly splayed 
outwards; claws not greatly modified. 



Acknowledgment 

I would like to acknowledge Mr R Gutteridge 
for preparing the figure. 



Reference 

WATTS, C. H. S. 1998. Revision of Australian 
Enochrus Thomson (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae). 
Records of the South Australian Museum 30(2): 
137-156. 



C. H. S. WATTS, South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, 5000. Records of the South Australian 
Museum 32(1): 119, 1999. 



SOUTH 

AUSTRALIAN 

MUSEUM 



VOLUME 32 PART 1 
JULY 1999 

ISSN 0376-2750 



CONTENTS: 



ARTICLES 

I C. H. S. WATTS 

Revision of Australian Hydrochus (Coleoptera: Hydrochidae) 



15 S. BARKER 

Designation of a lectotype and descriptions of four new species of 
Australian Buprestidae (Coleoptera). 



51 P.A.CLARKE 

Waiyungari and his relationship to the Aboriginal mythology of the 
Lower Murray. South Australia. 



69 C. HENN & B. CRAIG 

The Pacific Cultures Gallery in the South Australian Musei 



91 R. S. LAWTON 
The Chiefs of Kin 



119 C.H.S. WATTS 

Rediscovery of Enochrus peregrinus in Australia (Coleoptera, Hydrophilid; 



Published by the South Australian Museum, 
North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 50 



THREE NEW GENERA AND FIVE NEW SPECIES OF DYTISCIDAE 
(COLEOPTERA) FROM UNDERGROUND WATERS IN SOUTH 

AUSTRALIA 

C. H. S. Watts and W. F. Humphreys 



Summary 

Three new genera and five new species (Nirridessus pulpa, N. windarraensis, N. lapostaae, 
Tjirtudessus eberhardi and Kintingka kurutjutu) of stygobiontic beetles of the family Dytiscidae, 
subfamily Hydroporinae, tribe Bidessini, from relatively shallow, calcrete aquifers at Paroo near 
Wiluna, and at Windarra near Laverton in Western Australia, are described and figured and their 
relationship with other Bidessini discussed. Two different species of bidessine larvae were also 
collected and are described and figured. The species are members of a rich, recently discovered, 
relictual stygofauna, predominantly of Crustacea and Oligochaeta, inhabiting calcretes lying along 
the line of the Lake Way-Lake Carey palaeodrainage channel. 



THREE NEW GENERA AND FIVE NEW SPECIES OF DYTISCIDAE (COLEOPTERA) 
FROM UNDERGROUND WATERS IN AUSTRALIA 



C. H. S. WATTS AND W. F. HUMPHREYS 



WATTS, C. H. S. & HUMPHREYS, W. F. 1999. Three new genera and five new species of 
Dytiscidae (Coleoptera) from underground waters in Australia. Records of the South Australian 
Museum 32(2): 121-142. 

Three new genera and five new species (Nirridessus pulpa, N. windarraensis, N. lapostaae, 
Tjirtudessus eberhardi and Kintingka kuruljutu) of stygobiontic beetles of the family 
Dytiscidae, subfamily Hydroporinae, tribe Bidessini, from relatively shallow, calcrete aquifers 
at Paroo hear Wiluna, and at Windarra near Laverton in Western Australia, are described and 
figured and their relationship with other Bidessini discussed. Two different species of bidessine 
larvae were also collected and are described and figured. The species are members of a rich, 
recently discovered, relictual stygofauna, predominantly of Crustacea and Oligochaeta, 
inhabiting calcretes lying along the line of the Lake Way-Lake Carey palaeodrainage channel. 

C. H. S. Watts, South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5000. W. 
F. Humphreys, Western Australian Museum, Francis Street, Perth, Western Australia 6000. 
Manuscript received 16 February 1999. 



The presence in both fresh and brackish waters 
of communities of animals living in subterranean 
water bodies is well known (Botosaneanu 1986; 
Marmonier et at. 1993), but the presence of rich 
subterranean faunas, both aquatic and terrestrial, 
in arid Australia has only recently been 
established (Humphreys 1993a, 1993b, 1993c, in 
press a), and their derivation debatable 
(Humphreys in press c) 

The Australian aquatic systems either contain 
faunas of predominantly marine derivation 
inhabiting anchialine waters (Humphreys 1993b, 
in press a, in press c; Yager and Humphreys 1996; 
Poore and Humphreys 1992; Bruce and 
Humphreys 1993; Bradbury and Williams 1997), 
or faunas comprising predominantly freshwater 
lineages inhabiting the groundwater in the shield 
regions (Poore and Humphreys 1998; Humphreys 
in press c; Wilson and Keable in press). The 
faunas respectively appear to be associated with 
those of the Tethys sea (Humphreys 1993b, in 
press b, in press c; Yager and Humphreys 1996) 
and Gondwana (perhaps Pangea; Poore and 
Humphreys 1998; Humphreys in press c). We 
report here the discovery of populations of five 
new species in three new genera of Coleoptera 
(Dytiscidae, Hydroporinae) living in calcrete 
aquifers occurring along the line of the large Lake 
Way-Lake Carey palaeodrainage channel. The 
dytiscids have been collected from Paroo, near 
Wiluna, and from Windarra, c. 345 km to the 
southeast in central Western Australia where they 



occur in communities comprising Syncarida, 
Amphipoda, Copepoda, Ostracoda and 
Oligochaeta. 

Abbreviations used 

BES Prefix for field numbers. 

GSWA Prefix for Geological Survey of Western 
Australia monitoring bore number. 

OP Prefix for piezometer number in the 

Windarra Calcrete Quarry associated 
with the Murrin Murrin Nickel Cobalt 
Project run by Anaconda Operations Pty 
Ltd. (Dames and Moore 1998). 

SAMA South Australian Museum, Adelaide. 

WAM Western Australian Museum, Perth. 

Systematics 

Key To Australian Species Of Stygobiontic 
Bidessini 

1. — Body length >3.0 mm; pronotum wider 

than elytra (Fig. 6); protibia bow-shaped 
(Fig. 6) ... Tjirtudessus eberhardi sp. no v. 

— Body length < 3.0 mm; pronotum same 
width or narrower than elytra (Figs 3-5); 
protibia triangular (Figs 3-5) 2 

2. — Body length approximately 1.0 mm, 

surface strongly reticulate, legs stout, 
without swimming hairs on fore and 



122 



C. H. S. WATTS & W. F. HUMPHREYS 



midlegs (Fig. 7) 

Kintingka kurutjutu sp. nov. 

Body length >1.2 mm, surface at most 
with weak reticulation, legs normal, all 

with swimming hairs (Figs. 3-5) 

Nirridessus 3 

Pronotal plicae strong with inward 
excavations, metatrochanters pointed, 
basal two metatarsal segments longer in 
combination than apical three (Figs 3, 
14) N. pulpa sp. nov. 

Pronotal plicae weak, area between them 
without excavations, metatrochanters 
rounded, basal two segments of metatarsi 
in combination equal to or shorter than 
apical three (Figs 4, 7, 12, 13) 4 

Body length > 2.0 mm; eye remnant 

small, triangular 

N. windarraensis sp. nov. 

Body length < 2.0 mm; eye remnant 

reduced to a single suture 

N. lapostaae sp. nov. 



Tjirtudessus gen. nov. 

Description 

Bidessini. Relatively flat, narrowed at base of 
pronotum/elytra, eyeless. Head large, without 
strong sculpture, lacking cervical line. Pronotum 
very wide, wider than elytra, smooth, basal plicae 
weakly impressed. Elytron elongate, smooth, 
evenly covered with very small punctures each 
with a small seta; epipleuron without basal carina. 
Hindwing vestigial. Maxillary palpus elongate 
with large apical segment about same length as 
segments one to three combined. Labial palpus 
moderately elongate with apical two segments 
subequal. Prothoracic process arched, not reaching 
mesothorax, apical half spatulate. Post-coxal 
plates with very weak coxal lines, without 
punctures, adpressed to first abdominal segment. 
Post-coxae and first and second sternites fused. 
Protibia widest in middle; protarsi 
pseudotetramerous. Metatrochanter large, wholly 
exposed. Metatibia curved, widening towards 
apex; tarsi elongate; claws equal, very weak. 

Etymology 

Western Desert Language of the region: tjirtu, a 
beetle-like insect found swimming in water holes; 
dessus, the suffix of the type genus of the tribe, 
Bidessus. 



Remarks 

Separated from the other eyeless Bidessini 
described here by its large size, very broad head 
and pronotum, weak pronotal plicae and 
metacoxal lines, and non-triangular shape of the 
protibiae. 



Tjirtudessus eberhardi sp. nov. 

Description (number examined, 3) Col. PI. and 
Figs 6, 11, 15. 

Habitus. Length 3.2-3.5 mm. Strongly 
constricted at junction of pronotum/elytra; 
relatively flat; eyeless; uniformly light testaceous. 
Hindwing vestigial, about half length of elytron. 

Head. Large, smooth with a very fine 
reticulation and sparse weak punctures, 
subparallel in posterior half, sides with small 
triangular/oval area outlined by dark sutures in 
middle near anterior edge. Antenna relatively 
stout, basal two segments largest, third segment 
longer and narrower, then progressively shorter 
and stouter to penultimate, apical segment a bit 
longer and narrower than penultimate, each 
segment with some very small setae on inside 
apically. Maxillary palpus elongate with apical 
segment large, a little shorter than segments one 
to three combined, three long setae on outer side 
and some sensilla towards tip, tip truncated. 
Labial palpus moderate, apical two segments 
subequal. 

Pronotum. Very broad, wider than elytra, 
anterolateral angles projecting strongly forward, 
base quite strongly narrowed, posterolateral angles 
produced backwards, smooth, with sparse, very 
weak punctures and a row of stronger punctures 
along front margin, basal plicae very weakly 
impressed, only visible in some lights, with row 
of long setae laterally, denser towards front. 

Elytra. Not fused, lacking inner ridges. 
Elongate, widest behind middle, smooth, sparsely 
but evenly covered with very small punctures each 
with a small seta, row of long setae near lateral 
edge, a few additional long setae more frequent 
towards sides, some setiferous micropunctures at 
base and near apex. Epipleuron very broad in 
anterior fifth, then rapidly narrowing to be 
virtually absent over rest of elytron.. 

Ventral surface. Prothoracic process relatively 
broad, strongly narrowed between coxae, not 
reaching mesothorax, apical half spatulate, 
strongly arched in lateral view with highest point 
(viewed ventrally) between coxae. Mesocoxae 
meet. Metathorax bluntly triangular in front in 



UNDERGROUND DYTISCIDAE 



123 




COLOUR PLATE. Adult Tjirtudessus eberhardi. Length 3.2-3.5 mm. Artist: Elyse O'Grady. 



124 



C. H. S. WATTS & W. F. HUMPHREYS 



midline, wings very narrow, virtually absent. 
Metacoxal plates large, not differentiated into 
raised central portion and lateral portion, 
metacoxal lines very short and weak, widely 
spaced, almost obsolete; punctures very sparse, 
very weak; closely adpressed to first abdominal 
sternite. First and second sternites fused, sutural 
line virtually obliterated, sternites three to five 
mobile, very sparsely covered with small seta- 
bearing punctures, sternites three and four with a 
large central seta or bunch of setae. 

Legs. Smooth, without reticulation or punctures. 
Profemur moderately broad, with a sparse row of 
thin spines on anterior and posterior edges, a short 
row of short stout closely spaced spines on front 
edge at apex; protibia moderately broad, inner 
edge straight, outer edge bowed, widest near 
middle, where it is about four times its basal 
width, with several stout spines at apex, a closely 
spaced row of small peg-like spines on inner edge 
and a row of long swimming hairs along outside 
edge; protarsi with fourth segment very small and 
hidden within deeply lobed third segment, basal 
segment broadest, apical segment long and 
relatively thin, segments one to three with 
adhesive setae, claws short and simple. Midleg as 
for foreleg except for lack of small spines. 
Metatrochanter large, broadly oval, wholly 
exposed; metafemur elongate, lacking spines, a 
few short setae; metatibia strongly curved, 
widening towards apex, a row of about seven 
relatively long spines on inner edge, two large 
spines on inner apex, a row of long swimming 
hairs on ventral surface and a few scattered spines 
on outer edge; tarsi elongate, with swimming hairs 
on two sides, basal segment longest, apical 
segment a little longer than fourth, segments one 
and two in combination a little longer than others; 
claws weak (Fig. 15). 

Male. Antennae a little stouter, pro- and 
mesotarsi a little stouter, three basal segments 
covered on ventral surface with small adhesive 
setae. Central lobe of aedeagus narrow, narrowing 
rapidly in apical fifth; paramere broad, two- 
segmented, apical segment with pronounced, 
narrow, apical lobe (Fig. 11). 

Types 

Holotype: S. BES 6026, GSWA Bore # 6(B) 
Paroo Station 25/6/98, 26°26'S 119°47'E, 
collected by S. M. Eberhard, in spirit, WAM. 
Registration number WAM 99/60. 

Paratype: 6. Same data as holotype, 
mounted on slide, WAM. Registration number 
WAM 99/61. 



Associated specimen: 6. BES 5999 GSWA 
Bore # 15(A), trap, Paroo Station 25/6/98, 26°24'S 
119°46E, collected by S. M. Eberhard, in spirit, 
SAMA. 

Etymology 

Named after Stefan Eberhard in recognition of 
his expertise and enthusiasm in collecting 
subterranean fauna. 



Nirridessus gen no v. 

Description 

Bidessini. Broadly elongate, flattened, 
narrowing somewhat at base of pronotum. Head 
broad, without strong sculpture, lacking cervical 
line. Pronotum with sparse weak punctures, 
basal plicae moderately to strongly impressed. 
Elytra subparallel, with fine dense punctures; 
epipleuron quite rapidly narrowing before 
middle, without basal carina. Hindwing 
vestigial. Maxillary palpus robust, apical 
segment equal in length to other three 
combined. Labial palpus short, stout, apical 
segment about twice length of penultimate 
segment. Pronotal process arched, not reaching 
metathorax, apical half spatulate. Metacoxal 
plates with relatively short, widely separated 
coxal lines, weakly granulate/punctate, 
adpressed to first abdominal sternite. Metacoxal 
plates and first two sternites probably fused. 
Protibia strongly triangular; protarsi 
pseudotetramerous. Metatrochanter large, 
completely exposed. Metatibia curved, 
thickening apically; tarsal segments variably 
elongate; claws equal, weak. 

Etymology 

Western Desert Language of the region: Nirri- 
nirri, a general term for beetle; dessus, suffix of 
the type genus of the tribe, Bidessus. 

Remarks 

Separated from Tjirtudessus by its less 
expanded head and pronotum (Figs 3-5), 
relatively strong pronotal plicae, triangular pro- 
and mesotibiae and presence of a row of large 
punctures adjacent to the elytral suture; and from 
Kintingka by its larger size, less robust legs, much 
weaker reticulation, much sparser setae and the 
presence of swimming hairs on all legs. 

Type species 
Nirridessus pulpa sp. nov. 



UNDERGROUND DYTISCIDAE 



125 



Nirridessus pulpa sp. nov. 

Description (number examined, 3) Figs 3, 10, 14. 

Habitus. Length 2.0-2.2 mm. Elongate, 
flattened; pronotum broad, narrowing somewhat 
at base; uniformly testaceous. Hindwing vestigial, 
reduced to about one quarter length of elytron. 

Head. Broad, small; narrow triangular area 
delineated by dark sutures in middle at edge; very 
weak reticulation; punctures sparse, weak, row of 
punctures running backwards from above antennal 
base. Antenna relatively stout, robust, basal two 
segments largest, third and fourth smaller then 
slowly increasing in size to penultimate, apical 
segment a little longer than penultimate; a few 
small setae near apex of each segment. Last 
segment of maxillary palpus elongate, tip 
truncated, a few small setae near tip. 

Pronotum. Broad, a little narrower than elytra; 
narrowing behind, strongly extended forward at 
anterolateral angles; very sparse weak punctures 
and a few larger punctures along front edge; two 
strongly impressed basal plicae, curving slightly 
inwards, which reach about half way along 
pronotum, a depression inwards from each plica 
at their bases; row of long, thin setae in front half 
at edges. 

Elytra. Fused, lacking inner ridges; subparallel; 
with sparse small setiferous punctures, small areas 
of micropunctures at apex and base, a row of 
much larger weakly impressed punctures beside 
suture; sides of elytra strongly vertical with 
scattered, short, fine setae; row of long thin setae 
at edge, denser towards front. 

Ventral surface. Pronotal process arched in 
lateral view, highest (viewed ventrally) between 
coxae, apical half narrowly spatulate, narrowing 
between coxae; not reaching metathorax. 
Metathorax weakly reticulate, a few fine 
punctures; sharply triangular in midline in front; 
wings very narrow, subobsolete, metacoxal 
plates with weakly raised central portion; coxal 
lines well separated, weakly diverging 
anteriorly, reaching to between one half and one 
third way to mesosternum; weakly reticulate, 
virtually impunctate; adpressed to abdominal 
sternite. Metacoxal plates and first and second 
sternites fused but sutures evident, other 
sternites free, sternites three and four with 
central group of setae, otherwise virtually 
without setae; sparsely and weakly punctate. 
Epipleuron very broad in front quarter, 
narrowing quite rapidly to middle then thin to 
apex, difficult to differentiate from disc, 
without basal carinae. 



Legs. Protibia triangular, about four times as 
broad at apex than at base which is very 
narrow, with long swimming hairs; profemur 
with row of closely spaced small spines on 
front margin in apical one third to one half 
with scattered larger spines; protarsi weakly 
expanded, the fourth segment very small and 
hidden within deeply bilobed third segment; 
adhesive setae weak or absent; claws weak. 
Midleg similar but without small spines. 
Metatrochanter large, completely exposed, 
tapering to a broad point, well separated from 
femur at apex; femur narrowly elongate, 
anterior edge straight, impunctate, without 
spines; tibia strongly curved, thickening 
apically, with a row of long setae in apical 
half; segments relatively stout, progressively 
smaller towards apex, apical segment a little 
longer than fourth, basal two segments longer 
in combined length than apical three, with two 
rows of long setae and a number of stout setae 
at apex of first four segments; claws weak, 
equal in length (Fig. 14). 

Male. Appendages and legs as for female. 
Central lobe of aedeagus narrow, weakly 
narrowing to rounded, slightly upturned tip; 
parameres broad, two-segmented, apical 
segment with pronounced narrow apical portion 
(Fig. 10). 

Types 

Holotype: S. BES 6032, Bore # GSWA 5, 
Paroo Station, 25/6/1998, 26°26'S 119°46'E, 
collected S. M. Eberhard, in spirit, WAM. 
Registration number WAM 99/72 

Paratopes 3: 1, 6. BES 6015, Bore # GSWA 
6(A), Paroo Station, 25/6/1998, 26°26'S 119°46E, 
collected by S. M. Eberhard, lacking head, 
mounted, WAM. Registration number WAM 99/ 
73; 2, 2. BES 6002, Bore # GSWA 15(C), trap, 
Paroo Station, 25/6/1998, 26°24'S, 119°46'E, 
collected by S. M. Eberhard, in spirit, WAM. 
Registration number WAM 99/74, 3, SAM A. 

Etymology 

Western Desert Language of the region: pulpa, 
"cave". 

Remarks 

Nirridessus pulpa differs from both N. 
windarraensis and A', lapostaae in its much 
stronger pronotal plicae, much more pointed 
metatrochanters, narrower more elongate 
metafemora and stouter metatarsi with relatively 
short apical segments. 



126 



C. H. S. WATTS & W. F. HUMPHREYS 



Nirridessus lapostaae sp. nov. 

Description (number examined 10) Figs 4, 9, 12. 

Habitus. Length 1.3-1.5 mm. Elongate, 
pronotum narrowing strongly at base; uniformly 
very light testaceous. Hindwing vestigial, reduced 
to about one third length of elytron. 

Head. Broad, parallel-sided in basal half; 
rapidly narrowing forward of area where eye 
would be; a short dark suture at each side in 
middle at edge; very weak reticulation; punctures 
sparse, weak, row of setiferous punctures running 
backwards from above antenna base. Antenna 
relatively stout, robust, basal two segments broad, 
third and fourth smaller, then progressively 
widening until penultimate, apical segment 
thinner and longer, a few small setae near apex of 
each segment. Tip of last segment of maxillary 
palpus truncate, a few small setae towards tip. 

Pronotum. Broad in front, narrowing quite 
markedly behind, strongly extended forward at 
anterior lateral angles, very sparse weak punctures 
and a few larger punctures towards front edge; 
two finely impressed basal plicae, straight, 
reaching about a third way along pronotum; row 
of long, thin setae in front half at edges and on 
forward extensions. 

Elytra. Not fused but tightly locked, lacking 
inner ridges; sides subparallel; with very fine, 
sparse punctures each with a small seta, a few 
punctures with longer setae; moderately covered 
with micropunctures at base and apex, a row of 
much larger weakly impressed punctures beside 
suture; sides of elytra quite strongly vertical; with 
row of long thin setae at edge, denser towards 
front. 

Ventral surface. Pronotal process arched in 
lateral view, highest point (viewed ventrally) 
between coxae, apical half broadly spatulate, 
narrowing between coxae, not reaching 
metathorax. Metathorax with a few very small 
punctures; quite sharply triangular in midline in 
front, wings very narrow, subobsolete. Metacoxal 
plates with weakly raised central portion; 
metacoxal lines weak, well separated, diverging in 
anterior third, reaching about halfway to 
mesosternum; sparsely punctate; adpressed to first 
abdominal sternite. Metacoxal plates and first and 
second sternites fused but sutures evident, other 
sternites free, sternites three and four with central 
group of setae, otherwise virtually without setae; 
virtually impunctate. Epipleuron very broad in 
front quarter, narrowing quite rapidly to middle, 
then thin to apex, difficult to differentiate from 
disc. 



Legs. Protibia about five times as broad at apex 
than at base which is very narrow, with long 
swimming hairs, row of closely placed small 
spines on most of inner margin and some large 
spines towards apex; profemur with row of closely 
spaced small spines on front margin in apical one 
third, with scattered larger setae; protarsi quite 
strongly expanded, the fourth segment very small 
and hidden within deeply bilobed third segment, 
adhesive setae weak or absent; claws weak. 
Midleg similar except for less strongly expanded 
tarsi and lack of small spines. Metatrochanter 
large, completely exposed, elongate oval, well 
separated from femur at apex; femur relatively 
narrow, anterior edge weakly sinuate, impunctate, 
without spines; tibia strongly curved, thickening 
apically, with a row of long setae in apical half; 
segments elongate, progressively smaller towards 
apical segment which is a little longer than 
penultimate, combined length of basal two 
segments approximately equal to other three, two 
rows of long setae and a number of stout setae at 
apex of first four segments; claws weak, outer one 
slightly smaller than other (Fig. 12). 

Male. Appendages and legs as for female. 
Central lobe of aedeagus moderately broad, 
concave above, narrowing rapidly close to tip; 
parameres moderately broad, two-segmented, 
apical segment with pronounced narrow apical 
portion (Fig. 9). 

Types 

Holotype: 8. BES 6712, piezometer OP122, 
Windarra W.A. 28°28'40"S 122°07'40"E 18/11/ 
1998, collected by W. F. Humphreys, in spirit, 
WAM. Registration number WAM 99/65. 

Paratypes 6: 1, ? same data as holotype, WAM, 
registration number WAM 99/66, in spirit; 1, 2. 
BES 6548, piezometer OP124, Windarra W.A. 
28°29'04"S 122°07'22"E, 18/11/1998, WAM, 
registration number WAM 99/67, in spirit; 1, S. 
same data, mounted, SAMA; 1, 2. BES 6559, 
piezometer OP123, Windarra W.A. 28°28'46"S 
122°08'08"E, 18/11/1998, in spirit, WAM, 
registration number WAM 99/68; 1, 2. BES 
6564, piezometer OP122, Windarra W.A. 
28°28'40"S 122°07'40"E, 19/11/1998, in spirit, 
WAM, registration number WAM 99/69; 2, 2. 
BES 6549, piezometer OP122, Windarra W.A. 
28°28'40"S 122°07'40"E, 18/11/1998, in spirit, 
WAM, registration numbers WAM 99/70 & 99/ 
71. All collected by W. F. Humphreys. 

Associated specimens: 1, 6. BES 6712 same 
data as holotype, in spirit, damaged, SAMA; 1,2. 
BES 6549, piezometer OP 122, Windarra W.A. 



UNDERGROUND DYTISCIDAE 



127 



28°28'40"S 122°07'40"E, 18/11/1998 in spirit, 
SAMA; fragments of two specimens, same data, 
in spirit, WAM. 

Etymology 

Named after Daniella LaPosta of the South 
Australian Museum for her essential but unsung 
accounting help and skills. 

Remarks 

Nirridessus lapostaae differs from N. pulpa by 
its much weaker pronotal plicae and the shape of 
the midleg. It is more similar to N. windarraensis 
from which it differs in its smaller size, more 
reduced eye remnant, broader pronotal process, 
stouter pro- and mesotarsi, relatively shorter apical 
segment of metatarsi and stouter antennae. 



Nirridessus windarraensis sp. nov. 

Description (number examined 4) Figs 5, 8, 13. 

Habitus. Length 2.2-2.3 mm. Elongate, eyeless, 
pronotum constricted at base, uniformly light 
testaceous. Hindwing vestigial, reduced to about 
one third length of elytron. 

Head. Broad, straight-sided in basal half; a very 
narrow triangular area delineated by dark sutures 
in middle at edge; punctures sparse, weak, two or 
three rows of small setiferous punctures running 
backwards from above antenna base. 

Pronotum. Broad, a little narrower than elytra, 
narrowing smoothly to base, posterolateral angles 
right angled, anterolateral angles strongly 
extended forward; very sparse weak punctures; 
plicae weak, almost straight, reaching to about 
halfway along pronotum; sparse row of long, thin 
setae in front half at edges with concentration on 
anterolateral projections. 

Elytra. Elytra not fused but tightly locking, 
lacking inner ridges; elongate, subparallel in 
middle half; with sparse weak setiferous 
punctures, a row of much larger weakly 
impressed punctures beside suture, quite large 
areas of micropunctures near base and near apex, 
sparse over rest of elytra; sides of elytra quite 
strongly vertical with short fine setae; with row 
of moderately long thin setae at edge, denser 
towards front. Antenna moderately stout, basal 
two segments relatively broad, third segment 
narrowly triangular, successive segments 
gradually shortening and thickening, except 
apical segment which is bit longer than 
penultimate, a cluster of small setae near apex of 
each segment. Apical segment of maxillary 



palpus weakly bifid at tip, oblique ring of small 
setae near tip. 

Ventral surface. Pronotal process relatively 
narrow, strongly arched in lateral view, highest 
point (viewed ventrally) between mesocoxae, 
apical half spatulate, narrowing between coxae, 
not reaching metathorax. Metathorax with a few 
scattered weak punctures; broadly pointed in 
midline in front, wings very narrow, subobsolete. 
Metacoxal plates large, with weakly raised central 
portion, coxal lines weak, well separated, 
moderately diverging in anterior half; reaching to 
about one third way to mesosternum; smooth, 
virtually impunctate except a few towards midline; 
adpressed to first abdominal sternite. Metacoxal 
plates and first and second sternites fused, suture 
lines between first and second sternites obliterated 
laterally, other sternites free, sternites three and 
four with central group of setae, otherwise 
virtually without setae; weakly and very sparsely 
punctate. Epipleuron broad in front quarter, 
narrowing quite rapidly to middle then thin to 
apex, difficult to differentiate from disc. 

Legs. Protibia triangular, about five times as 
broad at apex than at base which is very narrow, 
with long swimming-hairs, row of closely spaced 
small spines on inner margin and some strong 
spines towards apex; profemur with row of closely 
spaced small spines on front margin in apical one 
third, with scattered larger setae; protarsi weakly 
expanded, the fourth segment very small and 
hidden within deeply bilobed third segment, 
adhesive setae small; claws weak. Midleg similar 
except for lack of fine spines. Metatrochanter 
large, completely exposed, oval, well separated 
from femur at apex; femur relatively narrow, 
anterior edge weakly sinuate, virtually impunctate, 
without spines; tibia strongly curved, thickening 
apically, with a row of long setae in apical third; 
segments relatively thin, apical one longer than 
penultimate, basal two segments shorter in 
combined length than apical three, with two rows 
of long setae and a number of stout setae at apex 
of first four segments; claws weak, inner one 
slightly shorter than outer (Fig. 13). 

Male. Appendages and legs as for female. 
Central lobe of aedeagus narrow, concave on top, 
narrowing rapidly near apex to narrow tip; 
parameres not particularly broad, two-segmented, 
apical segment with pronounced narrow apical 
portion (Fig. 8). 

Types 

Holotype: 6. BES 6712, piezometer OP 122, 
Windarra W.A. 28°28'40"S 122°07'40"E 18/11/ 



128 



C. H. S. WATTS & W. F. HUMPHREYS 



1998, collected by W. F. Humphreys, in spirit, 
WAM. Registration number WAM 99/62. 

Paratopes 2: 1, 6. BES 6549, piezometer 
OP122, Windarra W.A. 28°28'40"S 122°07'40"E, 
18/11/1998, mounted on slide, WAM, 
registration number WAM 99/63; 1, <$ . BES 
6559, piezometer OP123, Windarra W.A. 
28°28'S 122°08'08"E, 18/11/1998, in spirit, 
WAM, registration number WAM 99/64. All 
collected by W. F. Humphreys. 

Associated specimens: 1 2 . BES 6549, same 
data as paratype, in spirit, SAMA; parts of two 
specimens, BES 6558, piezometer OP123 same 
data as above. 

Etymology 

Named after the type locality. 

Remarks 

Separated from N. pulpa by its much weaker 
pronotal plicae and the structure of the midleg. 
From N. lapostaae it differs in its larger size, more 
parallel-sided elytra, presence of small triangular 
areas where eyes would be, narrower pronotal 
process, more elongate metatarsi, and less robust 
pro- and mesotarsi. 



Kintingka gen. nov. 

Description 

?Bidessini. Narrowly oval, weakly flattened, 
eyeless. Head very broad, strongly reticulate, 
lacking cervical line. Pronotum strongly reticulate, 
basal plicae finely, sharply impressed. Elytron 
strongly reticulate, with numerous short fine setae, 
epipleuron without basal carina. Hindwing 
vestigial. Maxillary palpus broad, apical segment 
greater than length of other three combined. 
Labial palpus stout, approximately the same size 
and length as maxillary palpus. Pronotal process 
moderately arched, apical half spatulate, not 
reaching mesosternum. Metacoxal plate strongly 
reticulate, coxal lines weak; coxal lobes adpressed 
to but possibly not fused to first abdominal 
sternite. First two abdominal sternites possibly 
fused. Protibia strongly triangular; protarsi 
pseudotetramerous. Metatrochanter completely 
exposed; metatibia stout, straight, expanding a bit 
towards apex; tarsal segments robust; claws equal, 
very small. Fore and midlegs without swimming 
hairs. 

Etymology 
Western Desert Language of the region; 



Kintingka, a beetle-like insect found swimming in 
water holes. 

Remarks 

Separated from the other eyeless Bidessini 
described here by its small size, strong 
reticulation, relatively dense covering of setae, 
stout palpi, stout legs and lack of swimming hairs 
on fore and midlegs. 



Kintingka kurutjutu sp. nov. 

Description (number examined, 1) Figs 7, 16. 

Habitus. Length 1.0 mm. Narrowly oval, 
weakly flattened; uniformly testaceous; hindwing 
vestigial. 

Head. Broad, bulges outwards at sides behind 
where eyes normally are; strongly reticulate; a few 
setiferous punctures on each side about where 
inner edge of eye would be; small suture at side of 
head in middle. Antenna stout, basal two 
segments largest, next two smallest, then slowly 
increasing in size to penultimate, apical segment 
twice length of penultimate; a few very small 
setae on inside at apex of each segment. Maxillary 
palpus very broad; apical segment greater than 
length of other three combined; tip narrowed, 
truncated, a diagonal row of a few setae towards 
tip. Labial palpus broad, approximately the size 
and length of maxillary palpus. 

Pronotum. Broad, narrowing towards rear; 
anterolateral angles strongly projecting forward; 
posterolateral angles bluntly produced backwards; 
reticulate, sparsely covered with very small 
punctures each with a relatively long fine setae; 
pronotal plicae very fine, sharply impressed, 
reaching half way along pronotum. 

Elytra. Not fused; without inner ridge; 
reticulate; moderately covered with minute 
punctures, each with a relatively long fine setae; 
with a row of long thin setae at edges. 

Ventral surface. Pronotal process moderately 
arched in lateral view, highest point (viewed 
ventrally) between coxae; spatulate in apical half; 
very narrow between coxae; not reaching 
metasternum. Mesocoxae meet. Metasternum 
sharply triangular in midline in front; wings very 
narrow; reticulate; a few relatively long setae in 
mid line. Metacoxal plate not raised in midline; 
coxal lines virtually absent; strongly reticulate; 
with sparse, very small punctures, more frequent 
towards midline, each with a quite long seta; 
adpressed to, but possibly not fused to first 
abdominal sternite. First and second sternites 



UNDERGROUND DYTISCIDAE 



129 



fused, with obvious suture; sternites three to five 
free, covered with rather long setae; three and four 
with small patch of very long setae in middle. 
Epipleuron rather narrow in front, progressively 
narrowing to apex. 

Legs. Foreleg very stout; femur strongly 
reticulate, virtually without spines; tibia triangular, 
about five times as broad at apex than at base; 
reticulate; a row of closely spaced small spines on 
inner margin and some strong spines towards 
apex; tarsi with fourth segment very small and 
hidden within deeply bilobed third segment, basal 
three segments moderately expanded, almost bare 
of setae ventrally, apical segment stout; claws 
rather weak. Midleg very stout; femur and tibia 
strongly reticulate; tibia and tarsi a little less stout 
than on foreleg. Metatrochanter reticulate, 
completely exposed, very large, inner edge 
rounded, outer edge straighter, apex well 
separated from femur; femur reticulate, stout, 
without setae, with one spine at apex on inside; 
tibia stout, straight, much narrower at base than 
apex, with numerous spines, some strong; tarsi 
robust, with numerous stout spines, segments 
progressively smaller except apical which is a bit 
smaller than fourth, basal two segments in 
combination about same length as other three; 
claws equal, extremely small. Fore and midlegs 
without swimming hairs, swimming hairs weakly 
developed on metatibia and tarsi (Fig. 16). 

Male. Not known. 

Types 

Holotype: 9. BES 6032, GSWA 5, Paroo 
Station 25/6/1998, 26°26'S 119°46'E, coll. S. M. 
Eberhard, mounted on slide, WAM. Registration 
number WAM 99/75. 

Etymology 

Western Desert Language of the region; 
kurutjutu, "blind". 

Larva form 1. Figs 17-22 

Length 4.2 mm (not including urogomphi). 
Light testaceous, head darker than rest; eyeless; 
head proportionally very broad. Head capsule 
broad, relatively round without marked neck 
region, sides with some quite strong spines; nasal 
large, as long as the rest of head, broad, without 
lateral notches but with a prominent downward 
pointing small spine/tooth on each side near 
middle, band of small spines/teeth around front 
edge ventrally (Fig. 19). Mandibles relatively 
strong. Labium small, with a few long setae, 
palpus long and slender (Fig. 20). Maxillary stipe 



simple, palpus long and slender (Fig. 18). Antenna 
a little shorter than maxillary palpus, second and 
third segments same length, apical segment 
smaller, accessory appendage well developed, a 
little shorter than apical segment. Thoracic 
segments weakly sclerotized, sparse row of quite 
strong setae on posterior edges dorsally. 
Abdominal segments weakly sclerotized, quite 
numerous strong setae on posterior edges dorsally 
and at sides, microsetae arranged in rather short 
irregular lines. Apical segment with moderate 
siphon. Trachea in siphon and those at sides of 
abdominal segments of normal size. Urogomphi 
broken, only a short basal portion of one 
remaining which has a long ventral setae near 
base, a very small dorsal seta near base and a 
slight notch on the outer side which is the 
attachment point of a seta which has been broken 
off; shaft microreticulate, meshes moderate with 
very fine microsetae along edges of reticulation, 
becoming noticeably stronger near base. Legs 
long, relatively thin, with standard set of 
hydroporine primary setae, moderate number of 
secondary setae, lacking setae TR2 (Nilsson 
1987), lacking swimming hairs (Figs 21, 22). A 
few very long setae on sides of thoracic and 
abdominal segments, more frequent posteriorly. 

Association with adult 

We think that this larval specimen is an early 
final instar that will thicken and elongate 
considerably before pupation. Most probably it is 
the larva of T. eberhardi since it would seem to 
be already too large to belong to N. pulpa. 

Specimen data 

1, BES 6017, Bore # GSWA 6(A), Paroo 
Station, 25/6/1998, 26°26'S 119°47'E, collected 
by S. M. Eberhard, mounted on slide, WAM. 

Larva form 2. Figs 23-29 

Length 1.2 mm (not including urogomphi). 
Almost transparent, head a very light testaceous. 
Head broad, relatively large, eyeless, without neck 
region, without lateral spines, with a few very 
long setae towards front at sides; nasal very broad, 
lacking lateral notches, about as long as rest of 
head, row of very large strong setae/teeth around 
much of ventral edge (Figs 24, 26, 27). Labium 
small; palpus robust, apical segment narrower in 
apical half (Fig. 25). Maxillary stipe simple; 
palpus robust, apical segment small (Fig. 23). 
Antenna short, stout, apical segment thin, 
accessory appendage about half length of apical 
segment. Mandibles relatively thin. Thoracic and 



130 



C. H. S. WATTS & W. F. HUMPHREYS 



abdominal segments weakly sclerotised; a few 
moderate setae and some very long ones laterally, 
more numerous posteriorly; microsetae relatively 
dense, in long lines. Apical segment with 
moderate siphon; urogomphi moderately long, two 
segmented, basal segment with three long setae 
plus a group of three long setae at apex, apical 
segment with one long seta attached a short 
distance from apex; microreticulation meshes 
large, almost annular, with short fine microsetae 
along edges. Tracheae absent. Legs relatively stout 
with only the standard hydroporine set of primary 
setae, TR2 absent, swimming hairs absent; tarsal 
claws moderately strong (Figs 28, 29). 

Association with adult 

All four specimens are similar in size and 
structure. Their fragile appearance, absence of 
tracheae, sparseness of abdominal setae, and lack 
of secondary setae on the legs suggest that they 
are first instar larvae. If so, their size would 
associate them with N. pulpa. Their very stout 
cephalic appendages and broad squat nasal are too 
different from those of form 1 for them to belong 
to the same species. 

Specimen data 

1, BES 6028, Bore # GSWA 6(B), Paroo 
Station, 25/6/1998 26°26'S 119 C 47'E, mounted on 
slide, WAM; I, same data, in spirit, SAMA; 1, 
BES 6022, Bore # GSWA 6, Paroo Station, 25/6/ 
1998 26°26'S 119°47'E, in spirit, WAM; 1, BES 
5994, Bore # GSWA 16, Paroo Station, 24/6/1998 
26°26'S 119°44'E, in spirit, WAM. All collected 
by S. M. Eberhard. 



Systematic Relationships 

Tribal placement 

The small size, lack of a visible scutellum, 
pronotal process on two planes, 
pseudotetramerous protarsi and larval nasal, place 
these new genera in the subfamily Hydroporinae. 
They all lack defining synapomorphies for the 
Hydrovatini (incised metacoxal process, very 
broad pronotal process, modified apical sternite 
[Bistrom 1996]), and Hyphydrini (unequal 
metatarsal claws) and appear, quite clearly, to 
belong within Bidessini and/or Hydroporini. 

We place all three new genera in the Bidessini. 
Our reasons, in descending order of importance, 
are as follows. 

The two genera whose parameres are known 



possess the unique Bidessini synapomorphy of 
two-segmented parameres (Bistrom 1988, 1996). 

The two known larval species lack notched 
nasals and hence would seem to lie outside of the 
Hydroporini, if Wolfe's identification of this 
character state as a synapomorphy for Hydroporini 
is correct (Wolfe 1985 J. This is true within 
Australia. However the larvae of Haideoporus and 
Morimotoa which are both subterranean and 
currently placed in the Hydroporini (a placement 
supported by their single segmented parameres) 
do not have notched nasals (Young and Longley 
1976; Longley and Spangler 1987; Ueno 1957). 

The species lack spines along the outside edge 
of the metatarsi. Such spines are present in all 
Australian hydroporini but are absent in all 
Australian bidessini except for one or two on the 
basal segment in some species. The usefulness of 
this character outside Australia or its polarity is 
unknown (Hydrovatus and Hyphydrus lack such 
spines, whereas Laccornis has them). 

The presence of pronotal plicae. Although 
found in the Australian hydroporines, 
Sternopriscus, Necterosoma and Barrethydrus, 
this character is more typical of bidessines 
(Bistrom 1988). 

Open metatrochanter bases. Typical of 
bidessines but also approached in some 
hydroporines, particularly the Australian Paroster, 
Necterosoma and Carabhydrus and in 
Hyphydrini. Not present in the Hydrovatini 
(Bistrom 1996). 

Fusion of metacoxal plates and first and second 
abdominal sternites. Again almost universally 
present in the Bidessini but also present in some 
hydroporines (Bistrom 1988; Wolfe 1985; Larson 
and Storey 1994). 

Metatibia strongly narrowed at base and, in 
Tjirtudessus and Nirridessus, also strongly curved. 
This is a typical bidessine character but is also 
present in some Hydroporini including the 
Australian Sternopriscus (Bistrom 1988; Larson 
and Storey 1994). 

There are three other possible tribal placements 
that need to be considered. 

Smrz (1982) created a separate tribe, Siettitini, 
specifically for Hydroporinae living below ground 
and exhibiting such characters as eyelessness, 
flightlessness, lack of pigment, development of 
long sensory setae and prosternal process not 
reaching the mesosternum. Although useful 
taxonomically, it is widely recognised that this is 
an artificial classification, grouping together 
phylogenetically unrelated taxa simply because of 
common adaptations to an underground existence 



UNDERGROUND DYTISCIDAE 



131 



(Young and Longley 1976; Pederzani 1995). 

Watts (1978) created the tribe Carabhydrini for 
the peculiar Australian genus Carabhydrus. 
Larson and Storey (1994) discussed this 
placement, concluding that although some 
uncertainty regarding its true position remained, it 
was probably best to consider Carabhydrus to be 
a member of the Hydroporini. We accept their 
argument and tentative conclusion. 

The new genera could be considered as a 
separate tribe. We can find no good reasons to 
suggest this. 

Relationships within the Bidessini 

None of the new genera appears close to any 
Australian Bidessini. However the presence of 
pronotal plicae, the form of the parameres, the 
simple central lobe of aedeagus, the lack of or 
weak development of elytral setae, the lack of 
sutural striae, the weak punctation and lack of 
basal carinae on the epipleura point quite strongly 
to a relationship to Limbodessus, Liodessus or 
Boongurrus, even though the new genera lack a 
cervical stria, identified by Bistrom (1988) to be a 
phylogenetically significant character in the 
Bidessini, and which is present in Liodessus and 
Boongurrus. However this character appears in 
the process of being lost in Boongurrus (Larson 
and Storey 1994), which is a very small species 
found in sand and gravel at the headwaters of 
small streams and shows signs of an incipient 
underground existence suggesting that this 
character could have been lost in the truly 
subterranean genera. 

Beyond Australia four genera of subterranean 
Bidessini (based primarily on the presence of two- 
segmented parameres [Bistrom 1988]) have been 
reported: Trogloguignotus Sanfilippo, 1958 from 
Venezuela; Comaldessus Spangler and Barr, 1995 
from the United States of America; Sinodytes 
Spangler, 1996 from China; and Glareadessus 
Wewalka and Bistrom, 1998 from the Persian 
Gulf region. In addition a species of Uvarus 
Guignot, 1939 (U. chappuisi [Peschet 1932]) has 
been collected from a well in Upper Volta 
(Burkina Faso). Of these, U. chappuisi is little 
modified from its surface congeners and the two 
species of Glareadessus are not greatly different 
from Hydroglyphus Motschulsky, 1853 (Wewalka 
and Bistrom 1998). Both Trogloguignotus and 
Comaldessus differ from the Australian genera in 
the presence of elytra! plicae, and in having the 
prosternal process reaching the metasternum. 
Sinodytes is more similar but differs in its four 
segmented pro- and mesotarsi, the prosternal 



process reaching the metasternum, relatively 
strong punctation and, from Tjirtudessus and 
Nirridessus, lack of swimming hairs on legs. None 
of these non-Australian genera appear to be close 
to the new Australian ones. 

A much more detailed phylogenetic study is 
needed before a clear idea of the relationships of 
the new genera is obtained but we predict the 
sister group, or groups, will be found within the 
current Australian bidessines, possibly near 
Liodessus, Limbodessus or Boongurrus. 

Relationships between the new genera and 
species 

The three new genera share a number of 
characteristics which suggest a relatively close 
relationship between them within the Bidessini, 
based on Bistrom's 1988 review. All lack a 
cervical stria, a basal carina on the epipleuron, a 
margined frons, elytral plicae or sutural striae and 
all have short, moderate to strongly arched 
pronotal processes not reaching the metasternum 
which is rarely found in the Bidessini and not 
found in any Australian genus. This would seem 
to suggest a relatively recent common origin from 
within a restricted section of the Bidessini. 
Unfortunately the polarity of these character states 
is unknown. They may also, as is likely in the 
case of the short, arched pronotal process, 
represent adaptations to a subterranean existence 
and hence have little phylogenetic content. 

Of the five species K. kurutjutu appears more 
distant than the others. Its rounded shape, stout 
legs and appendages and unusually strong 
reticulation appear to be characters retained from 
its terrestrial ancestor and to suggest a more 
distant phylogenetic origin to the others. In all 
these characters it most closely resembles 
Paroster, and the blind, terrestrial, Terradessus, 
both in the Hydroporini, although, as argued 
above, we have placed it in the Bidessini, a 
position that must be considered tentative until 
the discovery of the male. 

The strikingly similar parameres of the four 
other species, a character perhaps less subject to 
evolutionary change in a new environment, 
suggest a relatively close relationship between 
them. Within these the large size, cordate shape, 
subobsolete pronotal plicae and metacoxal lines, 
and bow-shaped protibiae separate T. eberhardi 
from the remaining species which seem relatively 
closely related to each other, reflected in our 
placement of them in the one genus, Nirridessus. 
Within Nirridessus the rounded metatrochanters, 
sinuate metafemora and elongate metatarsi seem. 



132 



C. H. S. WATTS & W. F. HUMPHREYS 



on a first analysis, to be derived characters and to 
link N. windarraensis and N. lapostaae as sister 
species. They also lack the strong pronotal plica 
of N. pulpa. These differences are quite large in 
terms of bidessine taxonomy and it is quite 
possible that future studies will support their 
separation into two genera. 

The two larvae, which we have associated with 
T. eberhardi and N. pulpa, are very different with 
? T. eberhardi having long legs, elongate cephalic 
appendages, enlarged nasal but without strong 
spines/teeth in contrast to the stout legs and 
cephalic appendages and greatly developed 
spines/teeth on the nasal in ? N. pulpa, and, if the 
associations are correct, support the generic 
separation of the two species. 

In summary we tentatively suggest that N. 
windarraensis and N, lapostaae are sister species. 
Tjirtudessus and Nirridessus are sister genera with 
the position of Kintingka more distant and 
problematical. 



Adaptations To Subterranean Life 

Many species found living underground display 
certain characteristic traits that are thought to be 
adaptive to underground life. These include both 
the reduction or loss of characters (regressive 
evolution) and the enhancement of others 
(constructive evolution), which together produce 
the convergence characteristic of cave-adapted 
animals, that is termed troglomorphy. These 
adaptations include morphological, ecological, 
physiological and behavioural characteristics 
(Christiansen 1992; Culver et al. 1995). 

General shape and size. Enlarged head, 
flattening of the body and narrowing at the 
pronotal elytral junction are common features of 
subterranean Hydroporines. Tjirtudessus exhibits 
these characters to the greatest degree with 
Nirridessus and Kintingka seemingly less altered. 
Size is a character that often changes in animals 
exhibiting marked adaptation to subterranean life, 
those living in large voids are larger while those 
inhabiting interstices are smaller than is typical 
for their lineage. Kintingka is among the smallest 
Dytiscidae while on the other hand Tjirtudessus is 
unusually large for a Bidessine, only Bidessodes 
grossus approaches it in size within the Australian 
fauna. Whether these size characteristics reflect 
the spaces they inhabit or some other aspect of 
niche partitioning is unknown; nonetheless the 
size (length) ratios of the two series of sympatric 
species are well beyond that considered necessary 



for niche separation, being for Paroo 1.6 and 2.1 
(mid-point of range) and for Windarra 1 .6. 

Eyes. Loss of eyes is typical of subterranean 
animals. All three genera are eyeless. In some 
lights "ghosts" of ocelli can be seen in N. pulpa. 
At the sides of the head, where the eyes would 
have been, there is a cuticular area bounded by 
sutures. In T. eberhardi, N. pulpa and N. 
windarraensis this is a small, narrowly oval area. 
This is further reduced to a small suture in K. 
kurutjutu and N. lapostaae. 

Wings. The elytra of N. pulpa are fused. In all 
the other species the elytra separated on 
dissection/preparation. In most Hydroporinae 
there is an inner ridge near the side of the elytron, 
thought to be associated with locking the elytra 
against the abdomen (Wolfe 1985). This is lacking 
in the new species suggesting that even in 
Tjirtudessus and Kintingka the elytra are normally 
tightly closed by some other mechanism. 

In T. eberhardi and the three Nirridessus 
species and probably also in K. kurutjutu, the 
forewing is quite long but narrow, flimsy and 
veinless. In all five species it is obviously well on 
the way to being lost. 

Sensory structures. All five species have the 
long thin sensory setae around the body recorded 
for all subterranean Hydroporinae (Spangler 
1986). On the antennae and palpi there are small 
setae that probably have a sensory function. All 
the species have concentrations at the base and 
apex of the elytra of minute setae-bearing 
punctures. Apart from their very small size and 
seeming absence in the few terrestrial species we 
have looked at, these appear normal but they may 
have a specific sensory function. In Kintingka 
there are a few cuticular sensilla on the top of the 
head, but otherwise we have been unable to find 
any sensory organs, such as described by Smrz 
(1983) for other subterranean Hydroporinae. More 
detailed investigation of new material may well 
find more such organs. 

Colour. As in most subterranean animals the 
new genera lack pigment and all are partially 
transparent, particularly the larvae. 

Sculpture. All known subterranean 
Hydroporinae have smooth shiny surfaces, with 
weak to very weak punctures or setae on both 
dorsal and ventral surfaces. Only two, 
Trogloguignotus and Uvarus, have raised 
structures such as plicae or striae. In both 
Tjirtudessus and Kintingka pronotal plicae are 
traceable but very fine, suggesting that they are in 
the process of being lost. However in Nirridessus 
the plicae are relatively strong and, in N. pulpa, 



UNDERGROUND DYTISCIDAE 



133 



have a well marked excavation inside them. In 
Kintingka the reticulation on both surfaces is 
unusually strong, even for a terrestrial bidessine. 
The setae in the dorsal punctures are strong in 
Kintingka, although the density of punctures is 
not great. 

Larvae. Both larval types show the typical loss 
of eyes and colour of subterranean animals. 
Compared with Australian terrestrial Bidessini 
larvae the larger larva form 1 has a 
disproportionately large head and long legs and a 
strong nasal. The smaller larva form 2 is most 
noticeable for its strong development of nasal 
spines (Fig. 21). 



Habitat 

All the beetles were taken by plankton net or 
trap from boreholes in calcrete aquifers associated 
with the Lake Way-Lake Carey palaeodrainage 
channel (Fig.l) on the Yilgarn craton of Western 
Australia. 

The palaeodrainage channels in the Yilgarn are 
old - they contain patches of Permian fluvio/ 
glacial sediments - and were deeply incised into a 
plateau of Precambrian rocks during the Permian 
or earlier: there is an absence of sediment between 
the Permian and Eocene throughout the Western 
Proterozoic basins (L. Worrall, personal 




28" 



Rason 
Lake, 




100 km 



Hope Campbell 
I ) Lake 

'Liqhtfoot Lake 
Minigwal 



FIGURE 1. Map showing the extent of the Lake Way-Lake Carey palaeodrainage channel on the Yilgarn craton. 
The channel continues through Rason Lake to the Eucla Basin. The adjacent palaeodrainage channels are not 
shown. Groundwater calcretes are mostly associated with the 'lakes' (salinas, playas) that overlie the palaeodrainage 
channel in places. Inset: location of the site in Western Australia. 



134 



C. H. S. WATTS & W. F. HUMPHREYS 



communication 1998). Towards the south the 
minor palaeodrainage lines probably formed after 
the uplift of the Darling Plateau and Eocene 
marine transgressions deeply penetrated the 
palaeovalleys along the western margin of the 
Eucla basin (Jones 1990; L. Worrall, personal 
communication 1998) when conditions were 
tropical. It is of interest that the amphipods from 
the southern sites are Ceinidae (J. Bradbury, 
personal communication 1998), a family of marine 
ancestry (Barnard and Karaman 1984) while those 
from the northern site are crangonyctoids, an 
ancient freshwater lineage (J. Bradbury personal 
communication). 

The northern samples were from an aquifer in 
Tertiary calcrete deposits on Paroo Pastoral 
Station (altitude 520 m AHD) in the Paroo sub- 
basin of the Lake Way Basin in central Western 



Australia (Figs 1 and 2). All bores from which 
stygofauna were obtained overlay Proterozoic 
shale. Locally the calcretes overlay Proterozoic 
dolomite, sandstone and shale, and are overlain in 
places by Quaternary alluviums and colluviums 
(Fig. 2), and this juxtaposition is probably the 
source from which this possibly old fauna - by 
analogy with other areas (Humphreys 1993; in 
press a, in press b; Poore and Humphreys 1998) - 
invaded these inland-draining palaeochannels. 
Bores in the Proterozoic and Quaternary facies 
(Fig. 2) were also investigated but no stygofauna 
was found. 

Calcretes are carbonate deposits forming near 
the water table in arid lands as a result of 
concentration processes by near-surface 
evaporation (Jacobson and Arakel 1986). 
Groundwater calcretes (Arakel 1996) often 




FIGURE 2. Location of the sample sites in the Paroo sub-basin of the Lake Way Basin in Western Australia. Inset: 
location of the site in Western Australia. Base map after Sanders (1973). 



UNDERGROUND DYTISCIDAE 



135 



TABLE 1. Data for collecting localities. 



Bore 


Latitude 


Longitude 


Depth(m) 


Comments 


GSWABore#15 


26° 24' 02" S 


119° 45' 47" E 


27.4 


cavernous calcrete/ shale 


GSWABore#16 


26° 25' 31" S 


1 19° 43' 43" E 


15.0 


shale 


GSWA Bore#5 


26° 26' 25" S 


119° 46' 19" E 


22.3 


shale 


GSWA Bore#6 (A) 


26° 26' 02" S 


119° 46' 38" E 


30.5 


observation well, shale 


GSWA Bore#6 (B) 


26° 26' 02" S 


1 19° 46' 38" E 


• 


observation well 


GSWA Bore#6 (C) 


26° 26' 02" S 


119° 46' 38" E 


• 


observation well 


OP 113 


28° 29' 28.4" S 


122° 07' 07.2" E 


4.20 (0.05) 


piezometer 


OP 118 


28° 29' IT'S 


122° 07' 13" E 


5.25(1.55) 


piezometer 


OP 122 


28° 28' 40" S 


122° 07' 40" E 


3.50 (0.40) 


piezometer 


OP 123 


28° 28' 46" S 


122° 08' 08" E 


2.05 (0.15) 


piezometer 


OP 124 


28° 29' 04" S 


122° 07' 22" E 


3.95(0.10) 


piezometer 



develop typical karst features (Barnett and 
Commander 1985). Such a calcrete aquifer covers 
c. 90 km 2 of Paroo Station. The upper surface of 
the calcrete is rubbly and sometimes karstic and 
so the surface is permeable because of sinkholes 
and caverns. Opaline silica occurs at about the 
water table. Below this layer caverns and 
interconnected conduits have also developed in 
the friable calcareous material as the result of 
groundwater circulation. The calcrete varies in 
thickness between 7.6 and 1 1.6 m with an average 
saturation thickness of 4.5 m (Sanders 1973). 

Groundwater occurs widely in the Paroo sub- 
basin and as close to the surface as 4.3 m in places 
(Table 1). The calcrete is recharged by rainfall 
through the porous surfaces. Rainfall in the region 
is low, c. 200 mm per year, and highly episodic 
with storm rainfalls of 76 mm and 119 mm 
expected at frequencies of once every two years 
and five years respectively (Sanders 1973). In 
consequence the groundwater table varies quite 
widely between storm events. 

When investigated in 1973 - attributes may 
now differ - the total salinities within the Paroo 
calcrete ranged from 710—1330 mg L" 1 TDS when 
the borefield characteristics were established 
(Sanders 1973) but was not much stratified within 
boreholes. There is a general increase in salinity 
downstream up to 4400 mg L ' TDS. The calcrete 
aquifers eventually drain to the salt lakes in the 
Lake Way system which act as evaporation basins. 

The southern samples were taken from 
piezometers (altitude 4 1 6^4 1 8 m AHD) associated 
with a calcrete quarry at Windarra (Fig. 1), 
adjacent to the lower reaches of the Lake Way- 
Lake Carey palaeodrainage system at depth. In 
this region no subterranean fauna was recovered 
from either the Roy-Valais Borefield or the 



Korong North Borefield developed in aquifers in 
basal palaeosands overlain by substantial layers of 
clays in the palaeovalley deposits. 

The calcrete deposit at Windarra reaches a 
maximum thickness of about six metres - it is 
overlain by c. 1 m of ferruginous, clayey, 
unconsolidated sand - and is typical of the 
groundwater calcretes widely occurring in the 
Australian arid zone. There are well developed 
karst features within the area covered by the 
piezometric field that are typical of those found 
elsewhere in calcrete (Sanders 1973) and in those 
supporting stygofauna (Poore and Humphreys 
1998; W. F. Humphreys, unpublished). In the 
quarry area the water table is shallow (3.34 m 
[s.d. 0.89 range 1.90^1.15 below the natural 
surface,] at the time of sampling) (Table 1). As 
such the calcrete comprises a highly permeable 
aquifer with limited saturation thickness. The 
salinity in the Windarra Calcrete Quarry area 
ranged from c. 1500-3200 mg L ' TDS at the time 
of sampling but has been reported as high as 4100 
mg L" 1 TDS in places (Dames and Moore 1998). 

Associated Fauna And Biology 

The three genera of dytiscids are sympatric at 
Paroo (Table 2) and two congeneric species are 
sympatric at Windarra (Table 3) and they are 
found together with syncarid Crustacea 
(Bathynellacea), crangonyctoid amphipods (gen. 
nov.; J. H. Bradbury, pers. comm.), phreodrillid 
oligochaetes (a Gondwanan lineage), cyclopoid 
copepods and candonine ostracods (Tables 2 and 
3). Undoubtedly more comprehensive sampling of 
the aquifer will add to this fauna, especially at 
Windarra where the entire volume of water 
accessible for sampling was only c. 4.4 L. 



136 



C. H. S. WATTS & W. F. HUMPHREYS 



TABLE 2. The distribution of stygofauna in the Paroo area. Ten bores were sampled from six sites and only one site 
yielded no fauna. The numbers under 'Wells' denote the number of wells out of 12 from which taxon was sampled. 
L denotes larvae presumed to represent N. pulpa and T. eberhardi. Note the more or less complete restriction of 
stygofauna to bore samples as opposed to open wells. 
* = stygofauna, otherwise epigean species. 





GSWA Bore 


5 


6 


15 


16 


20 


Wells 


Dytiscidae 


Tjirtudessus eberhardi sp. nov.* 


_ 


+L 


+ 


_ 


_ 


— 




Nirridessus pulpa sp. nov.* 


+ 


+L 


+ 


L 


- 


- 




Kintingka kurutjutu sp. nov.* 


+ 


+ 


- 


- 


- 


- 


Crustacea 


Bathynellacea* 


- 


+ 


+ 


- 


+ 


+ 


Amphipoda 


Crangonyctoid* 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 


- 


Copepoda 


Cyclopidae 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 


+ 


Ostracoda 


Cypridinae 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


1 




Sarcypridopsis cf aculeata (Cypridinae) 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


6 




Cypretta sp. (Cypridinae) 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


2 




Candoninae* 


- 


f 


+ 


+ 


- 


- 


Hydracarina 


Arrenurus (Micuracarus) separatus Smit 


- 


- 


- 


- 


- 


3 


Oligochaeta 


Phreodrillidae* 


- 


+ 


+ 


- 


+ 


- 


Minimum number of species 


4 


8 


7 


4 


4 


6 



Owing to their habitat little is known of the 
biology of subterranean dytiscids. The fullest 
account is by Ueno (1957) who reports that 
Morimotoa phreatica swam weakly, walked on 
the substrate and did not surface for air. The 
adults of Tjirtudessus and Nirridessus have 
swimming hairs on all their legs, so presumably 
they need to swim at times. Kintingka have weak 
swimming hairs only on their hind legs and their 
small size and proportionally very strong fore and 
midlegs suggest an adaptation to crawling forcibly 
through gravel/sand - this is consistent with the 
hypothesis that their small size for their lineage is 
an adaptation to interstitial life as discussed under 
'Adaptations to subterranean life'. Both species 
of larvae lack swimming hairs but still have 
urogomphi and long cerci suggesting that they are 
still air breathing and need to hold their 
urogomphi above the water with the help of the 



cerci. Larva form 1 have tracheae of normal 
appearance. Against this is the very small body 
size of the small form- 2 larva which, like similar- 
sized larvae of surface species, would allow it to 
breathe cutaneously. It is doubtful if the much 
larger form- 1 larva could do so. 

Most adult Dytiscidae are scavengers on freshly 
dead animals rather than active predators and live 
off moribund or newly dead animals. Ueno (1957) 
reported that M. phreatica fed both on living 
(copepod) and dead (isopod, amphipod) 
crustaceans and we suspect that the new genera 
have similar feeding habits and are feeding on the 
range of subterranean crustaceans including 
amphipods, copepods and syncarids (Table 2) 
which were found with them. In contrast to the 
adults, larval dytiscids are active predators. The 
large head and relatively weak body and legs of 
the larger larva suggest an ambush predator. The 



TABLE 3. Fauna in the Windarra Calcrete Quarry piezometric field. L and W refer to Nirridessus lapostaae and N. 
windarraensis respectively. 



Location 


Amphipoda 


Copepoda 


Copepoda 


Coleoptera 


Oligochaeta 






Cyclopoida 


Harpacticoida 


Dytiscidae 




OP 113 


+ 


_ 


_ 






OP 118 


+ 


- 


- 


LW 


_ 


OP 122 


+ 


+ 


- 


LW 


+ 


OP 123 


+ 


+ 


- 


LW 


_ 


OP 124 


+ 


- 


- 


L 


- 



UNDERGROUND DYTISCIDAE 



137 






FIGURES 3-7. Dorsal views. 3, Nirridessus pulpa; 4, N. lapostaae; 5, N.windarraen.sis; 6, Tjirtudessus eberhardi; 
1, Kintingka kurutjutu. Figs 3-6 male; Fig. 7, female. Scale bar = 1mm. 



138 



C. H. S. WATTS & W. F. HUMPHREYS 







8 







10 



11 




FIGURES 8-1 1. Lateral and ventral views of central lobe of aedeagi and lateral view of a paramere. 8, Nirridessus 
windarraensis; 9, N. lapostaae; 10, N. pulpa; 11, Tjirtudessus eberhardi. Figures 12-16. Ventral views of hindlegs. 
12, N. lapostaae; 13, N. windarraensis; 14, N. pulpa; 15, T. eberhardi; 16, Kintingka kwutjutu. Drawn to 
approximately same size, not to scale. 



UNDERGROUND DYTISCIDAE 



139 





25 





19 



26 



27 





29 




FIGURES 17-22. Larva form 1. 17, dorsal view; 18, maxillary palpus; 19, ventral view of nasal; 20, labial palpus; 
21, anterior view of foreleg; 22, posterior view of foreleg. Figures 23-29. Larva form 2. 23, maxillary palpus; 24, 
dorsal view; 25, labial palpus; 26, lateral view of nasal; 27, ventral view of nasal; 28, anterior view of foreleg; 29, 
posterior view of foreleg. 



140 



C. H. S. WATTS & W. F. HUMPHREYS 



strong nasal spines and strong legs of the smaller 
larvae suggests a much more active pursuit of a 
rather slippery prey. 

Three of the seven adults at Paroo were taken 
in traps, while the remainder, and all those from 
Windarra, were captured in plankton nets hauled 
through the water column in the bores. The bore 
samples may not reflect the density of the fauna in 
the general groundwater because the bores may 
serve to concentrate the stygofauna owing to the 
steady influx of organic matter dropping down the 
mosly capped but not sealed bore heads. 



Conservation 

Groundwater calcretes mostly occur in 
palaeodrainage channels in arid climates where 
the annual rainfall is less than 200 mm and 
potential evaporation exceeds 3000 mm per year 
(Mann and Horwitz 1979). Hence, they occur 
widely throughout mid-latitudes of central and 
western Australia (map in Humphreys in press c). 

The Lake Way Basin has been examined for its 
water potential (Sanders 1969, 1972a, 1973, 
1974). Some work has been conducted on the 
hydrogeochemistry of aquifers in the region 
(Mann and Deutscher 1978; Passmore 1983). 
Such aquifers are actually and potentially much 
exploited for water resources (Environmental 
Protection Authority 1981), often inappropriately 
(Sanders 1972b). There has been and is 
considerable mining in the general vicinity of 
Wiluna and further expansion of mining activity 
is planned. 

We need to recognise that these ecosystems 
may face significant risks resulting from the 
lowering of the water table below ecologically 
appropriate levels as a result of surface operations 
(sealing or clearing), as well as those below 
ground (water abstraction, mine dewatering). This 
is especially the case for the shallow and thin 



calcrete aquifer at Windarra. In addition, such 
processes may result in the physical modification 
or loss of subterranean environments through 
general surface slumping in floodplain calcrete 
aquifers resulting from the withdrawal of 
supporting water. 

The recent discovery that these aquifers contain 
rich relictual faunas (Poore and Humphreys 1998; 
Humphreys in press c; this paper) poses 
challenging management issues as these aquifers 
often constitute the principal water supply for 
human activities in the arid zone. 

From evolutionary and hydrological 
considerations it is likely that the areas occupied 
by these relict faunas are small and isolated, as 
found in the Pilbara (Poore and Humphreys 1998; 
W. F. Humphreys, unpublished), analogous to 
rainforest patches in Eastern Australia. In these 
conditions the threat of unwittingly harming these 
ancient relictual communities (discussed by 
Humphreys in press c) is ever present. We hope 
that harm can be avoided, or at least minimised, 
by an active program of discovery and description 
of these newly discovered unique faunas followed 
by sound management of the water resource. 

Acknowledgments 

We would like to thank R. Gutteridge who prepared 
most of line drawings, E. O'Grady for the colour-plate, 
D. Corazon who prepared figures 21, 22, 28 and 29, D. 
R. West for the maps and librarians M. Anthony, J. 
Evans and M. Triffitt. Local information was provided 
by Doris and Jim Ford, Paroo Station, and by the 
Environmental Officers at Murrin Murrin, particularly 
Kim Bennett. Stefan Eberhard conducted the sampling 
at Wiluna. Identifications were made by M. S. Harvey 
(Hydracarina), J. Bradbury (Amphipoda), A. Pinder 
(Oligochaetes) and P. Marmonier (Ostracoda). The 
collections at Windarra were made during an 
environmental assessment of potential stygofauna 
habitats conducted by WFH on behalf of Anaconda 
Nickel Ltd. 



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NEW SPECIES OF ANTIPATHES AND PARANTIPATHES (CNIDARIA : 
ANTHOZOA : ANTIPATHARIA) FROM COASTAL WATERS OF SOUTH 

AUSTRALIA AND TASMANIA 

Dennis M. Opresko 



Summary 

One new species of the genus Antipathes and two new species of Parantipathes are described from 
the coastal waters of South Australia. Antipathes antrocrada sp. nov. resembles A. bifaria Brook, 
1889 and A. late Silberfeld, 1920, but differs from these two species in having less crowded polyps, 
larger pinnular spines, and thinner pinnules that are more spreading and not as strong distally. 
Parantipathes helicosticha sp. nov. differs from the closely related P. tetrasticha (Pourtales, 1868) 
by having shorter pinnules, larger spines and smaller polyps. Parantipathes triadocrada sp. nov. is 
similar to P. columnaris (Duchassaing, 1870), but is branched to a greater degree, does not have a 
reticulated worm run along the stem or branches, is extensively subpinnulated, and rarely has more 
than three pinnules or subpinnules in each verticil-like cluster. 



NEW SPECIES OF ANTIPATHES AND PARANTIPATHES (CNIDARIA: ANTHOZOA: 
ANTIPATHARIA) FROM COASTAL WATERS OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA AND TASMANIA 



DENNIS M. OPRESKO 



OPRESKO, D. M. 1999. New Species of Antipathes and Parantipathes (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: 
Antipatharia) from Coastal Waters of South Australia and Tasmania. Records of the South 
Australian Museum 32(2): 143-154. 

One new species of the genus Antipathes and two new species of the genus Parantipathes 
are described from the coastal waters of South Australia. Antipathes antrocrada sp. nov. 
resembles A. bifaria Brook, 1889 and A. lata Silberfeld, 1920, but differs from these two 
species in having less crowded polyps, larger pinnular spines, and thinner pinnules that are 
more spreading and not as strongly directed distally. Parantipathes helicosticha sp. nov. differs 
from the closely related P. tetrasticha (Pourtales, 1868) by having shorter pinnules, larger 
spines and smaller polyps. Parantipathes triadocrada sp. nov. is similar to P. columnaris 
(Duchassaing, 1870), but is branched to a greater degree, does not have a reticulated worm run 
along the stem or branches, is extensively subpinnulated, and rarely has more than three 
pinnules or subpinnules in each verticil-like cluster. 

D. M. Opresko, Life Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, 
Tennessee, 37830, United States of America. Manuscript received 1 1 January 1999. 



Introduction 

This is the second in a series of papers dealing 
with the antipatharian fauna of the waters off 
southern Australia and Tasmania. Species of the 
genus Leiopathes have been previously described 
(Opresko 1999). The holotypes and paratypes of the 
new species are deposited in the South Australian 
Museum (SAM), Adelaide, S. Australia. Schizotypes 
are deposited in the U.S. National Museum of 
Natural History (USNM) in Washington, DC. 



(1914) is followed, over 150 nominal species 
must be assigned to the genus Antipathes. This 
arrangement totally obscures the natural affinities 
of the various species complexes in the genus. 
Because a revision of the order focusing on the 
identification of these species complexes and the 
establishment of new genera and/or subgenera is 
currently being undertaken, diagnoses and keys 
for the currently recognized genera will not be 
presented here. 



Taxonomic Section 

Order Antipatharia Milne Edwards, 1857 

Family ANTIPATHIDAE Ehrenberg, 1834 

Genus Antipathes Pallas, 1766 

Remarks 

In 1834 Ehrenberg used the name Antipathina 
for a family-level taxon in the Order Scleropoda 
of the Class Bryozoa. Although it is likely that 
Ehrenberg was actually referring to a bryozoan 
that was encrusting an antipatharian axis, his 
usage has priority over subsequent designations in 
which the family was more correctly identified as 
anthozoan corals (see Gray 1 840 and Dana 1 846). 
Note: if the taxonomic revision of van Pesch 



Antipathes antrocrada sp. nov. 

(Figs 1-3) 

Diagnosis 

Corallum branched and pinnulated. Primary 
pinnules on branches and branchlets arranged 
alternately, generally bilaterally, and inclined 
distally. Secondary pinnules arranged uniserially 
near base of primaries, projecting out of plane 
containing primary pinnules, and inclined distally 
relative to primary pinnule on which they arise. 
Distal secondary pinnules bilateral, with narrow 
interior angle; interior angle generally increasing 
with increasing size of branchlets. Spines on 
pinnules simple, conical to subcylindrical with an 
acute apex; inclined distally; generally 0.10 to 
0.14 mm tall on highest order pinnules, increasing 
to about 0.2 mm on lower order pinnules and 



144 



D. M. OPRESKO 




/ 



FIGURE 1 . Antipathes antrocrada sp. nov., holotype, SAM H-746, entire corallum, height about 22 cm. 



branches; maximum size about 0.3 mm. Polyps 
usually 0.8-0.9 mm in transverse diameter; 
arranged uniserially, with 9-10 polyps per 
centimetre. 

Description of Holotype 

The holotype (SAM H-746; Fig. 1) may only be 
a branch from a larger colony; a basal plate is not 



present. It is about 25 cm tall and 12 cm wide and 
the 'stem' or primary branch is 3.0 x 4.5 mm in 
diameter at its basal end. Several large branches 
come off the 'stem' in an irregular fashion and at 
irregular angles, and they bear smaller branches. 
Both branches and branchlets are curved to 
varying degrees, and all are pinnulate. The 
arrangement of the pinnules and subpinnules is 



NEW SPECIES OF ANTIPATHARIANS 



145 





FIGURE 2. Antipathes anlrocrada sp. nov., holotype, SAM H-746. A, outer edge of corallum showing the 
arrangement of the pinnules, approx. x 1.2. B, pinnules with polyps, approx. x 3.0. 



not perfectly regular throughout the colony. In 
general, primary pinnules on the branches and 
branchlets have the appearance of being arranged 
alternately in two nearly opposite rows (Fig. 2A). 
The primary pinnules are mostly 1-2.5 cm long 
and 0.1-0.15 mm in diameter at their base 
excluding spines (0.2-0.3 mm wide including 
spines). They are spaced 3-5 mm apart in each 
lateral row and within each row they arise 
anterolaterally such that the interior angle formed 
by the two rows is 60-90° at the point of insertion 
on the branch. However, the more distal sections 
of the primary pinnules are recurved such that two 
pinnular rows have the general appearance of 
being nearly opposite one another. The primary 
pinnules are also inclined distally (distal angle 45- 
70°). The primary pinnules, in turn, often have a 
series of 3-6 secondary pinnules (Fig. 2A), mostly 
4-5 mm long and 0.14 mm in diameter (up to 10 
mm long and 0.16 mm in diameter), and spaced 
2-4 mm apart. The lowest secondary pinnule is 4- 
6 mm from the base or point of insertion of the 
primary pinnule. The lowermost secondary 
pinnules on each primary are arranged uniserially, 
inclined distally, and tend to lie in a plane at 
nearly right angles to the plane containing the 
primary pinnules. Pinnules longer than 1 .5-2 cm 
become branchlets with the distal-most secondary 



pinnules becoming bilateral and alternating, 
usually with a very narrow interior angle. Thus, 
over the entire corallum, and even on the larger 
branches, there is a pattern in which the pinnules 
go from a uniserial arrangement proximally to a 
bilateral arrangement distally, and for the interior 
angle formed by the two lateral rows of pinnules 
to increase with increasing length and thickness 
of the branchlets. 

The skeletal spines (Figs 3A-3C) are simple, 
conical to subcylindrical, with a smooth to slightly 
coarse distal surface and an acute apex. The 
polypar spines are larger than the abpolypar 
spines; both tend to be inclined distally. Polypar 
spines on the lower portions of the higher order 
pinnules (axial diameter 0.1-0.15 mm) are 
generally 0.10 to 0.14 mm tall (distance from the 
midpoint of the base to the apex); the abpolypar 
spines are 0.08-0.10 mm. On the pinnules the 
spines are arranged in axial rows, 4^7 of which 
are visible in lateral view (excluding rows in 
which spines are only partially visible). The 
distance between adjacent spines in each row 
ranges from 0.08-0.18 mm, and there are 6-8 
spines per millimetre in each row. The spines 
increase in number and size and become more 
acicular with increasing thickness of the axis; on 
pinnules or branchlets having a diameter of 0.2- 



146 



D. M. OPRESKO 




FIGURE 3. Antipathes antrocrada sp. nov., scanning electron micrographs of holotype, SAM H-746. A, Spines on 
pinnule 0.09 mm in diameter. B, spines on pinnule 0.12 mm in diameter. C, spines on branchlet 0.19 mm in 
diameter. Scale bars 0. 1 mm. 



0.3 mm the spines are 0.12-0.18 mm tall; on 
larger branches (0.3-0.4 mm in diameter) they are 
up to 0.22 mm tall. The spines on the lowest part 
of the 'stem' (diameter 3.2 mm) are mostly 
simple, 0.2-0.24 mm tall (maximum about 0.32 
mm) and 0.02-0.03 mm in diameter; a few are 
forked at the apex. 

The polyps (Fig. 2B) are distributed uniserially 
and generally restricted to the pinnulated side of 
the branches and branchlets. On the primary 
pinnules the polyps are found on the side having 
the subpinnules; they are at right angles to the 
direction of the branch on which the pinnules 
occur, or they can be offset somewhat towards the 
upper side of the pinnules relative to the direction 
of the branch. Where the interior angle of the 
pinnules is narrow, the polyps in opposing lateral 
pinnular rows face towards each other. On the 
secondary pinnules the polyps are positioned 
laterally (at right angles) relative to the direction 
of the primary pinnule, or they are offset, to 
varying degrees, towards the upper side (in the 
direction of the distal end of the primary pinnule). 
The polyps range in size from 0.6 mm to 0.9 mm 
(transverse diameter as measured from the distal 
side of base of distal lateral tentacles to the 
proximal side of the base of the proximal lateral 
tentacles), but most are 0.8-0.9 mm. The 
interpolypar space ranges from 0.1 to 0.2 mm, the 
smaller space usually found between two larger 



polyps. On average, there are 9-1 1 polyps per 
centimetre. The mouth is often slit-shaped and 
elongated along the sagittal axis and surrounded 
by a wide oral disc, and the tentacles are up to 0.3 
mm long (in the alcohol-preserved material). 
Polyps are restricted to one of the two wider sides 
of the stem, but they are more scattered and not in 
a single series. 

Discussion 

The paratype (SAM H-745) shows the same 
general growth form as the holotype; however, in 
this specimen there is more variability in the 
interior angle formed by the two rows of pinnules, 
and many pinnules are inclined distally to a 
greater degree than those in the holotype. 
Furthermore, the lowermost (most basal) 
secondary pinnules often occur further away (i.e., 
up to 10 mm) from the base of the primary 
pinnule than those in the holotype. 

Comparisons 

Antipathes antrocrada sp. nov. resembles A. 
bifaria Brook, 1889 and A. lata Silberfeld, 1909. 
In all of these species the corallum is irregularly 
branched and pinnulate, and the pinnules are 
arranged uniserially to biserially. However, based 
on the descriptions given by Brook (1889) and 
Silberfeld (1909), the pinnules in A. bifaria and 
A. lata are more strongly directed distally (distal 



NEW SPECIES OF ANTIPATHARIANS 



147 



angle less than 45°), and the interior angle formed 
by the two pinnular rows is much narrower than 
the condition occurring in A. antrocrada. In 
addition, the pinnules in these species appear to 
be thicker than those in A. antrocrada [as 
suggested by the illustration given by Silberfeld 
(1909)], but the spines on the pinnules may be 
slightly smaller (0.1 mm vs. 0.1-0.14 mm in A. 
antrocrada). The polyps in A. lata appear to be 
more crowded; Silberfeld (1909) reported a polyp 
density of 12 per centimetre, whereas the polyp 
density is, on average, 9-1 1 per centimetre in A. 
antrocrada. Polyps were not present in the type 
specimen of A. bifaria described by Brook (\l 



Etymology 

The specific name is: derived from the Latin 
'antrorsus' (directed forward and upward) and 
'crada' (twig), in reference to the curving of the 
pinnulated branchlets. 

Material Examined 

Australia, Great Australian Bight, approx. 100 
nautical miles (185.2 km) SSW of Eucla, 33°16'S, 
128°09'E, 170 m, R/V Comet, 14 January 1989, 
coll: W. Zeidler and K. Gowlett-Holmes 
(holotype, SAM H-746; schizoholotype, USNM 
99415). Great Australian Bight, approx. 100 
nautical miles (185.2 km) SSW of Eucla, 33°16'S, 
128°16'E, 190 m, R/V Comet, 14 January 1989, 
coll: W. Zeidler and K. Gowlett-Holmes 
(paratype, SAM H-745; schizoparatype, USNM 
99413). 

Distribution 

The species is known only from waters off 
South Australia at depths of 170-190 m. 



Genus Parantipathes Brook, 1889 

Parantipathes helicosticha sp. nov. 

(Figs 4-6) 

Diagnosis 

Corallum sparsely branched and pinnulate. 
Pinnules simple, arranged biserially in 6-8 (rarely 
9 or 10) rows, and in semi-spiral groups of 3-4 
(rarely 5) pinnules each. Pinnules extending at 
nearly right angles to the direction of stem or 
branch on which they occur. Spines simple, 
smooth, acute, inclined distally; 0.10-0.20 mm 
from centre of base to apex. Spines arranged in 
axial rows, three or four of which are visible in 
lateral view; spaced 0.3-0.8 mm apart in each 



row; with 2-3.5 spines per millimetre. Polyps 
transversely elongated, 1.6-1.8 mm in diameter 
from proximal edge of proximal tentacles to distal 
edge of distal tentacles. Polyps arranged 
uniserially on upper side of pinnules, facing 
towards the distal end of the stem or branches. 
Interpolypar space about 0.6 mm, resulting in four 
polyps per centimetre. 

Description of Holotype 

The holotype (SAM H-903) is a nearly 
complete colony with basal plate and polyps intact 
(Fig. 4). It is about 55 cm tall and 27 cm wide and 
has a basal stem diameter of 3.5 x 4.5 mm. It is 
very laxly branched (only about 14 branches in 
all), with the branches spaced at varying distances, 
some only several millimetres apart, others several 
centimetres apart. The branches are long; the 
largest is about 33 cm and has a basal diameter of 
about 2 mm. At their point of origin, the branches 
project at nearly a right angle to the stem or lower 
order branch from which they arise; they are 
straight or irregularly curved over most of their 
course. Both the stem and branches have a 
columnar growth form due to the presence of 
multiple rows of simple elongate pinnules that lie 
perpendicular to the direction of the stem or 
branch from which they arise (i.e., distal angle 
about 90°). The rows of pinnules are arranged 
biserially, usually with an equal number on each 
side (Fig. 5). The most common condition is three 
or four rows on each side, but rarely there may be 
four on one side and up to five on the other. The 
pinnules are also arranged in alternating semi- 
spiral groups along the length of the branches, 
each group consisting of one member from each 
row. The pinnules in each semi-spiral group on 
one side of the axis follow a clockwise direction, 
those on the opposite side follow a 
counterclockwise pattern. The semi-spirals on 
both sides thus appear to follow an ascending 
pattern when viewed from one side of the 
corallum and a descending pattern when viewed 
from the opposite side. Each semi-spiral covers an 
axial distance of about 2 mm and often the most 
distal pinnule of one semi-spiral is at about the 
same level as the most basal pinnule of the next 
group on the same side. In some cases, the lowest 
or highest pinnule in each semispiral is located 
near the middle of the front or back of the axis. 
There are usually four semi-spiral groups per 
centimetre in each series. The pinnules are simple, 
1.5-2 cm long and about 0.2 mm in diameter at 
their base. The pinnules are straight or curved 
upward slightly. 



148 



D M. OPRESKO 




FIGURE 4. Paranlipathes helkosticha sp. nov.. holotypc, SAM H-903, entire corallum, height about 55 cm. 



The skeletal spines (Fig. 6) are simple (very 
rarely forked), smooth, conical to horn-shaped, 
very acute, and inclined distally, particularly on 
the mid to distal part of the pinnules. They are 
about 0.10 mm tall on the basal portion of the 
pinnules, 0.14—0.16 mm tall along the mid portion 
and up to 0.20 mm tall on the distal portion. The 
abpolypar spines are usually 0.02-0.04 mm 
smaller than the polypar spines, but they are 



sometimes larger. On the pinnules the spines are 
arranged in axial rows, 3-4 of which are visible in 
lateral view (excluding rows in which spines are 
only partially visible). The distance between 
adjacent spines in each row is variable (0.3-0.8 
mm), but on average there are 2.0-3.5 spines per 
millimetre in each row. Spines are reduced in size 
on the stem and branches. On the stem the spines 
are no more than about 0.06 mm tall. 



NEW SPECIES OF ANT1PATHARIANS 



149 




FIGURE 5. Parantipathes helicosticha sp. nov., 
holotype, SAM H-903; section of corallum showing 
arrangement of pinnules and polyps, approx. x 4. 



The polyps (Fig. 5) on the pinnules are arranged 
uniserially on the upper side, facing towards the 
distal end of the branch on which they occur. They 
are mostly 1.6-1.8 mm in transverse diameter, as 
measured from the distal edge of the distal lateral 
tentacles to the proximal edge of the proximal 
lateral tentacles. The interpolypar space is 0.6 mm, 
and there are usually 4 polyps per centimetre. 

Discussion 

Paratypes SAM H-904 and H-901 are similar to 
the holotype in the growth form of the corallum, 
and in the size, number, and arrangement of the 
pinnules. The remaining paratype (SAM H-752) is 
more densely branched than the holotype and its 
pinnules are less regularly arranged, more often in 
semi-spiral groups of 2-3 (4 on the thicker 
branches), and the pinnules are spaced further 
apart. Each semi-spiral group takes up as much as 
3 mm; therefore, there are only three groups per 
centimetre on each side as compared to 4 in the 
holotype. The spines are also slightly smaller than 
in the other specimens. Analysis of additional 
specimens may show that this specimen represents 
a species distinct from P. helicosticha. 

Comparisons 

Parantipathes helicosticha, sp. nov. 
resembles P. larix (Esper, 1790) and P. 
tetrasticha (Pourtales, 1868) in the general 




FIGURE 6. Parantipathes helicosticha sp. nov., scanning electron micrographs of holotype, SAM H-903. A, 
Spines near tip of pinnule 0.13 mm in diameter. B, spines on pinnule 0.16 mm in diameter. C, spines near base of 
pinnule 0.2 mm in diameter. Scale bars 0.2 mm. 



150 



D M. OPRESKO 



appearance of the corallum, but differs from 
these species in the length or number of rows of 
pinnules or in the size of the spines. P. larix 
typically has only 6 rows of simple pinnules, and 
depending on the size of the corallum, the 
pinnules can be 3.5 cm to as much as 12 cm in 
length (Brook 1889). The spines of P. larix are 
much smaller than those in P. helicosticha; only 
0.06-0.09 mm, as estimated from the illustration 
given by Brook (1889), and the polyps are 
slightly longer, about 2.0 mm in transverse 
diameter (Brook 1889). In P. tetrasticha, there 
can be up to 8 rows of pinnules, as in P. 
helicosticha, but the pinnules are longer (up to 4 
cm), the spines are shorter (0.04-0.08 mm), and 
the polyps are more transversely elongated (2.5 
mm). Both P. larix and P. tetrasticha were 
originally described from the Atlantic. 
Parantipathes larix has also been reported from 
the Pacific (van Pesch 1914). However, van 
Pesch's description more closely resembles that 
of P. helicosticha than P. larix. 

Etymology 

The specific name is derived from the Latin 
'helico' (helix) and Greek 'sticha' (twig) in 
reference to the arrangment of the pinnules in a 
quasi helical pattern. 

Material Examined 

Australia, approx.125 nautical miles (231 km) 
E of Cape Arid, W. Australia, 33°03'S, 125°31'E, 
1011-1020 m, F/V Adelaide Pearl, K. Gowlett- 
Holmes, K. Olsson and M. Cameron, 31 July 
1988, (holotype, SAM H-903; schizoholotype, 
USNM 99401). Approx. 125 nautical miles (231 
km) S of Eucla, S. Australia, 33°45'S, 129°17'E, 
999-1110 m, F/V Adelaide Pearl, K. Gowlett- 
Holmes, K. Olsson and M. Cameron, 1 August 
1988 (paratype, SAM H-904: schizoparatype, 
USNM 99400). Approx. 46 nautical miles (85 
km) SE of SE Cape, Tasmania, 44°14.8'S, 
147°27.5'E, 1080-1130 m, F/V Belinda, K.L. 
Gowletl-Holmes, 9 February 1992 (paratype, 
SAM H-901; schizoparatype, USNM 99412). 
Great Australian Bight, approx. 130 nautical miles 
(240.8 km) SSW of Cape Adieu, 34°06'S, 
131°20'E, 1124-1131 m, F/V Longa III, K. 
Gowlett-Holmes, 15 December 1989 (paratype, 
SAM H-752; schizoparatype, USNM 99414). 

Distribution 

The species is known only from the waters off 
Tasmania and South Australia at depths of 999 to 
1130 m. 



Parantipathes triadocrada sp. nov. 

(Figs 7-9) 

Diagnosis 

Corallum sparsely branched, but densely 
pinnulate. Primary pinnules arranged in three 
irregular axial rows, two lateral and one posterior. 
Lateral primary pinnules more complexly 
subpinnulate than posterior primary pinnules. 
Pinnules and subpinnules (six or more orders) also 
grouped together in clusters (pseudo-verticils) 
containing one pinnule from each row. Pinnules 
and subpinnules adhering. Spines simple, conical, 
smooth, with acute to rounded apex; usually 0.06- 
0.08 mm from centre of base to apex. Spines on 
pinnules and subpinnules arranged in axial rows; 
up to 6-7 rows visible in lateral view. Spines 
0.16-0.30 mm apart in each row, with 5-6 spines 
per millimetre, on average. Polyps not more than 
1.2 mm in transverse diameter from proximal side 
of proximal lateral tentacles to distal side of distal 
lateral tentacles. Polyps arranged uniserially on 
upper or anterolateral sides of pinnules and 
subpinnules; with 7-8 polyps per centimetre. 

Description of Holotype 

The holotype (SAM H-908; Fig. 7) is about 22 
cm tall and 12 cm wide and has at its basal end a 
reticulated skeletal structure formed by the 
irregular cross-linking of adjacent branches by 
thick branchlets. This part of the colony has a 
stem-like branch about 2 mm in diameter. Several 
branches 10-20 cm in length originate along this 
'stem' and extend vertically, one becoming fused 
apically with pinnules of the stem. Both the stem 
and major branches have a columnar growth form 
due to the presence of pinnules along their length. 
Although the pinnules can occur singly and in 
pairs, the most common arrangement is in three 
irregular vertical rows and also in clusters each 
containing three (very rarely four) members. Two 
of the vertical rows are bilateral and the third is 
on the posterior side of the axis. The pinnules in 
the two lateral rows are usually much more higher 
developed (complexly subpinnulate) than those in 
the posterior row (Fig. 8A); consequently, the 
stem and individual branches have a somewhat 
bilateral structure. The clusters of pinnules consist 
of one member of each row arising from nearly 
the same location on the axis; however, the 
members of a group rarely arise at exactly the 
same point. Instead, they are separated by intervals 
of 0.1-0.3 mm (Fig. 8B). Therefore, the clusters 
might best be referred to as pseudo-verticils. The 
arrangement of the pinnules within each pseudo- 



NEW SPECIES OF ANTIPATHARIANS 



151 




FIGURE 7. Parantipathes triadocrada sp. nov., holotype, SAM H-908, height about 22 cm. 



verticil is irregular; a spiral or helical pattern not 
being apparent. The pseudo- verticils are spaced, 
on average, about 3 mm apart, but the distance 
can range from 2.5 to 4.5 mm. On some parts of 
the corallum the pseudo-verticils are incomplete 
due to the absence of one or even two members, 
and consequently, the pinnules and subpinnules 
are spaced irregularly along the axis. 
The lateral primary pinnules on the stem and 



branches have as many as six orders of 
subpinnnules; in contrast, the posterior primary 
pinnules have relatively few subpinnules (Fig. 
8A). The subpinnules develop in the same manner 
as the primary pinnules, usually in pseudo- 
verticils of three, spaced about 3 mm apart. Any 
one or more of the subpinnules can, in turn, have 
similar subpinnules, and this pattern can be 
repeated over several higher orders of 



152 



D. M. OPRESKO 





FIGURE 8. Parantipathes triadocrada sp. nov., holotype, SAM H-908. A, cross section of branch showing 
arrangement of pinnules, approx. x 1.7. B, lateral view of clusters of pinnules, approx. x 3.5. C, pinnules with 
polyps, approx. x 5. 



subpinnules. Although many exceptions occur, 
pinnules less than 1 cm long are likely to have 
only one order of subpinnules (and sometimes 
only one or a bilateral pair, rather than three); 
those about 2 cm long often have 1 or 2 orders of 
subpinnules; those 3 cm long have four or five; 
and those 4 cm long have as many as 6 orders. 
The subpinnules do not develop to the same extent 
from pinnule to pinnule; therefore the pattern of 
subpinnulation is not symmetrical. The largest 
unpinnulated pinnules or subpinnules are rarely 
more than about 7 mm in length and have a basal 
diameter of 0.14-0.16 mm (excluding spines). The 
pinnules and subpinnules arise from the lower 
order ramifications at nearly a right angle, but in 
most cases they curve upward towards the distal 
end of the stem or branch on which they occur. 
Overall, the apparent distal angle is 45-60°. 
Fusions of overlapping pinnules and subpinnules 
occur frequently and as a result, the lateral sides 
of the stem and branches (and also the anterior 
side in some places) form a dense mass of 
anastomosing subpinnules. Subpinnules of some 
adjacent branches are also fused together. 

The skeletal spines (Fig. 9) are simple, smooth, 
and conical with an acute to rounded apex. They 
are mostly subequal in size around the 
circumference of the axis, although in places they 
can be slightly larger to twice as tall on one side. 
Spines on the pinnules and subpinnules are 



usually 0.06-0.08 mm tall from the midpoint of 
the base to the apex; a few near the base of the 
larger pinnules (diameter 0.14-0.16 mm) reach a 
size of 0.10-0.12 mm. The majority of spines 
project at right angles to the axis; some are 
inclined distally, particularly those near the distal 
end of the pinnule. The spines are arranged in 
axial rows with 3^4 rows visible in lateral view 
(including only rows in which the base of the 
spines can be seen). However, on some pinnules, 
and primarily near the base of the pinnules, as 
many as 6-7 rows are visible. The distance 
between adjacent spines in each row varies from 
about 0.16 to 0.30 mm; on average there are 5-6 
spines per millimetre in each row. Although the 
distribution and spacing of the spines is quite 
regular on many pinnules and subpinnules, the 
pattern becomes less regular near the base of the 
pinnules, with new spines developing between the 
rows. There are only a few scattered spines on the 
larger branches at the base of the corallum, some 
of these are relatively narrow and acicular, but 
few are more than 0.06 mm tall. 

The polyps (Fig. 8C) on the subpinnules and 
pinnules are distributed uniserially on the upper 
or anterolateral sides of axis, thereby facing 
toward the distal end of the branch on which the 
pinnules occur. Because the pinnulation is more 
strongly developed on one side of the axis, there 
is a distinct polypar and abpolyar side of the 



NEW SPECIES OF ANTIPATHARIANS 



153 




FIGURE 9. Parantipathes triadocrada sp. nov., scanning electron micrographs of holotype, SAM H-908. A, Spines 
near distal end of pinnule 0.08 mm in diameter. B, spines on middle of pinnule 0.1 mm in diameter. C, spines on 
pinnule 0.15 mm in diameter. Scale bars 0.1 mm. 



corallum when viewed from above (Fig. 8A). The 
polyps are 0.8-1.1 mm in transverse diameter, as 
measured from the distal side of the base of the 
distal lateral tentacles to the proximal side of the 
base of the proximal lateral tentacles, and the 
interpolypar space is 0.3-0.4 mm. Seven to 8 
polyps occur along one centimetre of axis. The 
mouth is often slit-shaped and elongated along the 
sagittal axis, and the tentacles are up to 0.3 mm 
long (in the alcohol-preserved material). Some 
polyps appear very elongated along the transverse 
axis such that transverse diameter is about three 
times longer than the sagittal diameter (e.g., 0.8 
mm vs. 0.25 mm). 

Discussion 

A second specimen collected at the same station 
as the holotype is about 25 cm tall and 6 cm wide 
(SAM H-986). At its basal end (as well as at 
several points higher up on the corallum) it has a 
reticulated skeletal structure similar to that seen in 
the holotype. This colony and the other two 
paratypes exhibit the same general growth form as 
the holotype, with the major branches directed 
vertically and with numerous anastomosing 
pinnules and subpinnules. Young colonies are 
likely to have a simple corallum with few if any 
branches. In one of the two paratypes (which is 
broken in three pieces) a well-defined stem is 
present which, just above the holdfast, is 4.5 x 5.5 



mm in diameter. As in the holotype, the axis of 
the stem and major branches is compressed 
laterally (oblong in cross section) such that the 
widest diameter is at right angles to the plane 
formed by the lateral pinnules. 

Comparisons 

This species resembles Parantipathes 
columnaris (Duchassaing. 1870) in having the 
pinnules and subpinnules arranged in pseudo- 
verticils. However, in P. columnaris the corallum 
is usually monopodial, always has reticulated 
worm run along the stem, has fewer orders of 
subpinnules, and usually more than three 
subpinnules in each pseudo-verticil. 

Several species currently placed in the genus 
Parantipathes, including P. columnaris 
(Duchassaing, 1870), P. tenuispina Silberfeld, 
1909, and P. cylindrica Brook, 1889, differ from 
the type species P. larix (Esper, 1790) in having 
polyps that are not much more then 1.0 mm in 
transverse diameter. These species also form a 
natural assemblage united by the tendency of parts 
of the corallum to anastomose. These species may 
also have affinities to several flabellate species 
(i.e., Tylopathes crispa Brook, 1889 and 
Antipathella contorta Brook, 1889) which have 
similar sized polyps and anastomosing branches 
and branchlets. Further study may show that these 
species merit separate taxonomic recognition. 



154 



D. M. OPRESKO 



Etymology 

The specific name is derived from the Latin 
'triado' (in groups of three) and 'crada' (twig) in 
reference to the arrangement of the pinnules and 
subpinnules into pseudo-verticillate clusters of 
three. 

Material Examined 

Off Tasmania, approx. 46.5 nautical miles (86 
km) SSE of South East Cape, 44°22.7'S, 
147°07.3'E, 1060-1170 m, F/V Belinda, 12 
February 1992, coll: K. Gowlett-Holmes 
(holotype, SAM H-908; schizoholotype, USNM 
99410; paratype, SAM H-986). South Australia, 
Great Australian Bight, approx. 80 nautical miles 
(148 km) WSW of Pearson Id, in Investigator 
Group, 34°11'S, 132°38'E, 160 m, F/V Comet, 14 
April 1979, coll: K. Gowlett-Holmes (paratype, 
SAM H-759). South Australia, Great Australian 
Bight, approx. 90 nautical miles (167 km) W of 
Cape Wiles, 38°04'S, 133°59'E, 625-890 m, F/V 



Longa III, 9 November 1989, coll: K. Gowlett- 
Holmes (paratype, SAM H-760). 

Distribution 

The species is currently known only from the 
waters off Tasmania and South Australia at depths 
of 160 to 1170 m. 



Acknowledgments 

Appreciation is extended to W. Zeidler, Karen 
Gowlett-Holmes, K. Olsson, and M. Cameron of the 
South Australian Museum for collecting the material 
and making it available for study and to Eric 
Matthews for editing the manuscript. Research space 
was kindly provided by S. Cairns of the USNM. 
Special thanks are extended to S. Braden of the 
USNM for taking the scanning electron micrographs. 
This work was supported in part by the Smithsonian 
Institution and by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 
Oak Ridge TN. 



Literature Cited 



BROOK, G. 1 889. Report on the Antipatharia. Reports 
of the Scientific Results of the Voyage of the 
Challenger, Zoology. 32: 5-222. 

DANA, J. D. 1846. 'Zoophytes'. United States 
Exploring Expedition during the years 1838-1842, 
under the command of Charles Wilkes, U.S.N., vol. 
7. Lea and Blanchard: Philadelphia. 

DUCHASSAING, P. 1870. 'Revue des zoophytes et des 
spongiaires des Antilles'. Paris. 

EHRENBERG, C. G. 1834. 'Die Corallenthiere des 
rothen Meeres, physiologisch untersucht und 
systematisch verzeichnet'. Abhandlung Koniglichen 
Akademie der Wissenschaften: Berlin. 

ESPER, E. J. C. 1790. 'Die Pflanzenthiere in 
Abbildungen nach der Natur mit Farben erleuchtet 
nebst Beschreibungen', Vol. 2. Niirnberg. 

GRAY, J. E. 1840. 'Synopsis of the contents of the 
British Museum', 42th ed. London. 

MILNE EDWARDS, H. 1857. 'Histoire Naturelle des 
Coralliaires'. Vol. 1. Paris. 



OPRESKO, D. M. 1999. Three new species of 
Leiopathes (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Antipatharia) from 
southern Australia. Records of the South Australian 
Museum 31(1): 99-111. 

PALLAS, P. S. 1766. 'Elenchus Zoophytorum Sistens 
Generum Adumbrationes Generaliores et Specierum 
Cognitarum Succinctas Descriptiones cum Selectis 
Auctorum Synonymis'. Hagae-Comitum. 

POURTALES, L. F. de. 1868. Contributions to the 
fauna of the Gulf Stream at great depths. Bulletin 
of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 
1(7):103-120. 

SILBERFELD, E. 1909. Japanische Antipatharien. In 
'Beitrage zur Naturgeschichte Ostasiens', ed. F. 
Doflein. Abhandlungen der math.-phys. Klasse der 
K. Bayer. Akademie der Wissenschaften 7 (Suppl. 
1): 1-30. 

VAN PESCH, A. J. 1914. 'The Antipatharia of the 
Siboga Expedition'. Siboga-Expeditie Monographs, 
vol. XVII. J. Brill: Leiden. 



SOUTHERN RIGHT WHALE REMAINS FROM 19™ CENTURY WHALING 

AT FOWLER BAY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA 

Catherine M. Kemper and Catherine R. Samson 



Summary 

A study of surface and excavated whale bones at Fowler Bay, South Australia, was carried out in 
1994. Bones partially exposed at the surface were located over a 1 km transect and included up to 
10 skulls and many postcranial bones. Eight sites were excavated and yielded 104 bones, many of 
which were well preserved and entire. Cranial and postcranial bones were excavated: six crania, a 
bulla, periotics, a mandible, ribs, vertebrae, chevrons and a sternum. All of the identifiable bones 
(two-thirds) were Eubalaena australis. Body lengths of five animals were derived from skull 
measurements and yielded estimates in the order of 15-18 m. Postcranial bones were also from full- 
er nearly full-grown right whales, as indicated by their size and developmental state. No bones of 
small animals were found. The minimum number of individual right whales in the deposit was six. 
It is likely that the remains were a result of whaling during the early part of the 19 th century. The 
only available record of the number of whales taken at Fowler Bay is that of the log of the 
American ship 'Amazon' which took 33 right whales and 8 humpbacks in 1840. Indirect evidence 
suggests that at least 65 right whales were taken by shore- and/or ship-based whalers during 1840- 
1844. Although few right whales have visited Fowler Bay in the last decade, it must have been an 
important calving or nursery site before European settlement. 



SOUTHERN RIGHT WHALE REMAINS FROM 19TH CENTURY WHALING 
AT FOWLER BAY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA 



CATHERINE M. KEMPER AND CATHERINE R. SAMSON 



KEMPER, C. M. & SAMSON, C. R. Southern right whale remains from 19th century whaling 
at Fowler Bay, South Australia. Records of the South Australian Museum 32(2): 155-172. 

A study of surface and excavated whale bones at Fowler Bay, western South Australia, was 
carried out in 1994. Bones partially exposed at the surface were located over a 1 km transect 
and included up to 10 skulls and many postcranial bones. Eight sites were excavated and 
yielded 104 bones, many of which were well preserved and entire. Cranial and postcranial 
bones were excavated: six crania, a bulla, periotics, a mandible, ribs, vertebrae, chevrons and a 
sternum. All of the identifiable bones (two-thirds) were Eubalaena australis. Body lengths of 
five animals were derived from skull measurements and yielded estimates in the order of 15- 
18 m. Postcranial bones were also from full- or nearly full-grown right whales, as indicated by 
their size and developmental state. No bones of small animals were found. The minimum 
number of individual right whales in the deposit was six. It is likely that the remains were a 
result of whaling during the early part of the 19th century. The only available record of the 
number of whales taken at Fowler Bay is that of the log of the American ship 'Amazon' which 
took 33 right whales and 8 humpbacks in 1840. Indirect evidence suggests that at least 65 right 
whales were taken by shore- and/or ship-based bay whalers during 1840-1844. Although few 
right whales have visited Fowler Bay in the last decade, it must have been an important calving 
or nursery site before European settlement. 

Catherine M. Kemper, South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 
5000. Catherine R. Samson, Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies, University of 
Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania 7001. Manuscript received 1 March 1999. 



Whaling in Australia underwent several phases. 
From about 1805 to 1845 bay whaling was at its 
height in suitable places along the southern coast 
(Dakin 1938) and the main target of the industry 
was the southern right whale, Eubalaena 
australis, during winter months when it came 
close to shore to calve and mate. Bay whaling 
included shore-based operations, both ephemeral 
and longer term, and ship-based operations from 
ocean-going American, British, French and 
Australian vessels which sheltered temporarily in 
safe inlets and often hunted whales from there 
(Dakin 1938). 

Shore-based operations and Australian- 
registered ships took two-thirds of the estimated 
at least 26 000 right whales caught from 1827 to 
the early 1900s in New Zealand and southeastern 
Australian waters (Dawbin 1986). Three-quarters 
of these were caught between 1835 and 1844. 
British vessels were predominant until 1830, 
followed by a period of mostly American and 
French vessels after the mid 1830s. Eyre (1845) 
believed that at least 300 of the latter types were 
present each year in the general region. Records 
of the species and numbers taken are few, and 



rarely include details of size or maturity of the 
animals present in the catch. Historical estimates 
of right whale catches, therefore, are often based 
on oil yields by converting barrels, gallons or tuns 
to whales (Dawbin 1986). 

Matthew Flinders was the first European to 
record having visited Fowler Bay, in January 
1802, and he noted its good anchorage but lack of 
water and sparse vegetation (Faull 1988). Between 
November 1840 and January 1841 Edward John 
Eyre camped at Fowler Bay using it as a staging 
post for crossing the Nullarbor Plain. Good water 
was available in the sandhills. He later wrote: 

Upon walking round the shores of Fowler's Bay, I 
found them literally strewed in all directions with 
the bones and carcases of whales, which had been 
taken here by the American ship I saw at Port 
Lincoln, and had been washed on shore by the 
waves. To judge from the great number of these 
remains, of which very many were easily 
recognisable as being from those of distinct animals, 
the American must have had a most fortunate and 
successful season. (Eyre 1845: 227). 

We have assumed that the skeletons observed 
by Eyre and/or taken in subsequent whaling 



156 



C. M. KEMPER & C. R. SAMSON 



operations at Fowler Bay made up the remains 
which formed the basis of our study. 

The presence of large bones partly exposed in 
sand along the northern side of Fowler Peninsula 
was brought to attention of the South Australian 
Museum in 1990. A preliminary trip was made in 
1992 to locate these and photograph what was 
exposed. They were identified as whale bones, 



possibly E. australis. In August 1994 an 
expedition was mounted by the Australian and 
New Zealand Scientific Exploration Society 
(ANZSES), the South Australian Museum and 
Flinders University to excavate the bones and 
determine whether a whaling station had been set 
up at Fowler Bay. Archaeological expertise was 
provided by Mark Staniforth and Michael Jones, 




•57S 



Point Fowler 



1 km 






+ = 



- 32°03S 
132'30'E 



FIGURE 1. Fowler Bay area based on 1982 aerial photography and (insert) nautical chart based on 1878 survey by 
W. N. Goalen, Royal Navy. Solid bar near sand spit is position of study site. Broken lines are vehicle tracks and 
roads. Stippled lines on 1878 map indicate approximate positions of 2 and 6 m water depths. Low tide mark shown 
on 1878 map. Small crosses indicate rocky areas. 



FOWLER BAY WHALE REMAINS 



157 



Flinders University, and is summarised in Jones 
and Staniforth (1996). Zoological expertise was 
provided by the authors and is reported here. 

The aims of the zoological component of the 
project were to 1) identify the species represented 
by the bones, 2) determine the minimum number 
and relative age of whales present, 3) shed some 
light on whether shore- or ship-based whaling had 
taken place and 4) obtain reference specimens for 
the Museum's collection. 



Study Site 

Fowler Bay is near the head of the Great 
Australian Bight, about 300 km east of the South 
Australian/Western Australian border (Fig. 1). The 
bay is protected on its southwestern side by a 
calcarenite peninsula now covered by wind- 
blown, sandy hummocks and low vegetation. 
Mobile sand dunes are found where the peninsula 
meets the coast and these are gradually covering 
the old buildings of Fowler Bay township (Short, 
Fotheringham and Buckley 1986). Low coastal 
cliffs are present around the south and western 
side of the peninsula. A long sandy beach extends 
from about half way along the peninsula to Clare 
Bay, 25 km east. The beach and inshore area are 
gently sloping, resulting in a stable, low-energy 
and shallow bay along the coast to about 3 km 
north of the township of Fowler Bay (Short et al. 
1986). The peninsula is part of Fowlers Bay 
Conservation Reserve. 

An early nautical chart of the area, surveyed in 
1878 (The Admiralty, 1939), showed no sign of 
the extensive sand spit now found on the northern 
side of the peninsula (Fig. 1 ). The first illustration 
which we could trace, showing the spit, was an 
aerial photo taken in 1963 (State Library of South 
Australia). Earlier maps, dated 1892, 1915 and 
1951, are all very similar and appear to be based 
on the same survey. It is likely that the spit formed 
from eroded sands blown off the peninsula as a 
result of overgrazing by stock and rabbits during 
the early part of the 20th century. A vehicle track 
is now found along what is believed to be the old 
shore line. 



Methods 



Mapping and stratigraphy 

A surface transect 1 km by 30 m was searched, 
using a line of 15 people spaced at 2 m intervals, 




SAND 



FIGURE 2. Location of surface bones, excavated sites 
and trenches in study site. Excavated sites shown 
as stippled areas with identifying W number (Wl, 
W2, W3, W57, W62, W66, W68), except W54. 
which was found in a trench. Symbols of surface bones: 
A vertebra, ■ rib, ▼ mandible, S possible right whale 
skull (not excavated), # unknown large whale bone, 
♦ beaked whale bones. Dotted lines are trenches. 
Position of track (between solid lines) and edge of sand 
dune/low limestone cliff (broken line and J.) shown. 



158 



C. M. KEMPER & C. R. SAMSON 



for exposed bones and cultural material along the 
length of the southwestern edge of the sand spit. 
The resulting sites (Wl-77) were then surveyed 
by theodolite (Jones and Staniforth 1996). 

A 40-50 cm-wide transect was established, 
digging 2 m out of each 5 m segment, between 
Wl and W68 sites (after the sites themselves had 
been excavated) to establish whether the bones 
were clumped or randomly spread between sites 
(Fig. 2). At 20 m intervals along this main trench, 
2 m side trenches (total = four) were dug bearing 
south. Exploratory trenches were also dug from 
Wl (5.5 m bearing 126°) and W2 (3.3 m bearing 
144°). All trenches were excavated to limestone 
platform level (<55 cm). 

The stratigraphy of the sediments was recorded 
along the trench and at Wl site. 

Excavations 

When choosing sites for excavation, preference 
was given to those where exposed skulls rather 
than postcranial bones were already evident. Eight 
sites were excavated, of which two contained 
bones encountered during digging the trenches. At 
each site, excavation began at the exposed bone 
and worked down and around it, usually 
encountering other bones in doing so. Because so 
many bones were found piled on top of each 
other, the process was one of working towards the 
edge of the pile (which was not always reached 
due to time constraints) and leaving the bones in 
situ as the excavation progressed. Trowels, 
buckets, brushes and shovels were used. Each site 
was dug to the level of the limestone platform. 

Photographs were taken of each site before, 
during and at the end of excavation. Sketches 
were also made of the site at completion and then 
each bone was numbered, measured and 
photographed (with a 1 m scale bar marked in 10 
cm black and white bands) in situ. Measurements 
were taken (straight line, in cm) at the site using a 
tape measure. A few were later calculated from 
scaled photographs. The measurements are listed 
and defined in Appendix 1. 

Twenty-six bones were collected for the South 
Australian Museum (Appendix 1). These were 
wrapped in toilet paper then jacketed in hessian 
and plaster before being transported to Adelaide. 
After preparation (including desalination), they 
were registered into the mammal collection 
(Ml 8071). Some bones were also collected for 
National Parks and Wildlife South Australia and 
for display at Fowler Bay township. 

After the two-week study was completed, the 
sites were filled-in with sand and the vegetation 



replaced. A sign explaining the results of the study 
has been erected at the site. 

Identification 

Preliminary identifications were made on-site 
by comparing excavated bones with published 
photographs and drawings of large whale 
skeletons. All identifications were then confirmed 
at the South Australian Museum. Reference 
material of large whale species there includes: the 
skull of an 1 1.5 m E. australis (M14135) plus the 
postcranial skeleton of two neonates (Ml 6470, 
M17766), two skulls and part skeletons of 
juvenile humpback whales {Megaptera 
novaeangliae), skulls and skeletons of blue 
{Balaenoptera musculus) and Bryde's whales (B. 
edeni) and skulls and skeletons of a range of sizes 
of male and female sperm whales {Physeter 
macrocephalus). Published illustrations of 
northern right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) skulls 
and skeletons were also studied (True 1904, Allen 
1908, Omura, Ohsumi, Nemoto, Nasu and Kasuya 
1969, Omura, Nishiwaki and Kasuya 1971). 

Estimating animal length 

Maximum skull width was estimated from 
maximum available width by comparing photos of 
the incomplete, excavated skulls with drawings of 
skulls of E. glacialis. The proportion missing was 
then calculated and added to the maximum 
available width for each specimen. Maximum 
skull widths of 12 E. glacialis of known body 
length were obtained from published sources 
(True 1904, Allen 1908, Turner 1913, Omura et 
al. 1969, Omura et al. 1971) and measured in 
three E. australis (SAM M14135, WAM M40552, 
British Museum ZD. 1934.7.23.1). Body lengths of 
these animals ranged from 7.6 to 17.1 m. Mean 
predicted body lengths and prediction limits were 
then computed following the methods in Kemper 
and Leppard (1999) using 17 m as the average 
adult length. 



Results 



Surface remains 

The 1 km transect located 78 whale bones, or 
parts thereof, at 77 surface sites (Fig. 2). Of the 
10 skulls located, all were initially identified as 
possible E. australis without excavating them (see 
example in Fig. 3). The remaining bones included 
whole or parts of 3 mandibles, 19 vertebrae, 2 ribs 
and 37 unknown bones. Of these, the recognisable 



FOWLER BAY WHALE REMAINS 



159 




■!«! 



FIGURE 3. Weathered, posterior portion of E. australis skull at site Wl two years before excavation. Photo: A 
McLennan, 1992. 



ones were identified as possible E. australis. 
Seven strap-toothed beaked whale Mesoplodon 
layardii bones (Ml 8070) were located at the 
surface in seagrass above high tide mark during 
the transect. They were probably the remains of a 
recent stranding. 

Surface bones were not evenly distributed 
throughout the transect area. Few bones were 
found at the extremities of the area and only four 
(except the beaked whale bones) were located on 
the seaward (northern) side of the vehicle track. In 
some places groups of surface bones were 
observed. 

Excavated sites 

The stratigraphy of the deposit appeared to be 
similar. Fine grey/brown sand layers were mixed 
with layers of decomposed seagrasses. A layer of 
coarse beach sand, of variable thickness and 
sometimes including cobbles, was present just 
above the limestone platform. A black layer, 
including charcoal fragments, was present at a 
depth of about 20-25 cm at most places where the 
stratigraphy was recorded. At two places it was 



nearer the surface. This layer, and the fact that 
many of the bones were charred, suggests that a 
fire had occurred at the site when many of the 
bones were still exposed at the surface. 

Six of the surface bone sites were excavated 
(Wl, 2, 3, 57, 62, 68). Another two sites (W54, 
W66) were located while digging the trenches. A 
total of 104 entire or partial bones were located 
during excavations (Appendix 1 ). These included: 

6 crania, 2 periotics, 1 bulla and periotic, and 7 
skull fragments; 1 almost complete mandible and 
5 possible (part) mandibles; 1 cervical mass, 29 
thoracic and lumbar vertebrae, 6 caudal vertebrae, 

7 part vertebrae and 5 loose epiphyses; 1 1 
complete or almost-complete ribs and 12 rib 
fragments; 2 chevrons; 1 sternum; and 9 unknown 
fragments of bone. 

At site Wl, 29 bones, including a large 
cranium, were located in the 4.2 x 6.6 m 
excavated area. The site contained bones from 
several animals of various degrees of physical 
maturity e.g. large thoracic vertebrae with unfuscd 
or very well-fused epiphyses, posterior lumbar 
vertebrae with unfused epiphyses and mid 



160 



C. M KEMPER & C. R. SAMSON 




- ■■» jew* 






FIGURE 4. Overall view of site W2 looking south east. Bones in situ. Photo: J. Thurmer. 




FIGURE 5. Postero-tlorsal view of £. ausiralis cranium W2-1 I after it had heen lifted upright and broken across 
occipital region. Scale bar is marked in 10 cm and 1 cm units. Photo: C Kemper. 



FOWLER BAY WHALE REMAINS 



161 



lumbars wilh well-fused epiphyses, a loose caudal 
epiphysis, and three periotics (Appendix 1). 
Several large ribs or part ribs were also found at 
this site. A continuous limestone platform was 
located 55 cm below the surface. No bones were 
found in the 5.5 metre-long side trench. 

The area excavated at site W2 was 4.2 x 7.4 m 
and contained 45 whole or partial bones of 
various types and a large cranium (Figs 4, 5, 
Appendix 1 ). Bones from several individuals of 
differing stages of physical maturity were present: 
thoracic vertebrae with free or fused epiphyses 
and a caudal vertebra with unfused epiphysis; also 
bones encasing pterygoid fossae in addition to the 
skull. A continuous limestone platform lay 45 cm 
below the surface and limestone cobbles ranging 
in size from 5 to 25 cm long were common 
throughout the site. No bones were found in the 
3.3 metre-long side trench. 

W3 was a small site centred just 3 m east of the 
edge of W2 and eventually coalescing with it. The 
14 bones were more broken up than at other sites 
and included a cranium of which only the 
basioccipital and right occipital condyle remained. 
The presence of both a thoracic vertebra with 



fused epiphyses and a caudal vertebra with 
unfused epiphyses indicated that at least two 
individuals, of different relative ages, were 
represented. 

Site W57 contained a large cranium, large 
mandible and six other bones or fragments. Sites 
W62 and W68 each contained only a large 
cranium. 

Three bones were located, each at different 
positions, in the trench between sites Wl and 
W68. In the main trench, 2 m from W68, a rib 
was located and at 7 m from W68, an almost 
complete, large cervical mass and a vertebra 
(W66) were found. One of the side trenches went 
very close to surface site W54 and a transverse 
process of a lumbar vertebra was found in the 
trench there. Further excavation of W54 revealed 
four other bones, including the rest of the same 
lumbar vertebra. 

Species identification 

Sixty-nine bones were sufficiently intact to 
identify them as Eubalaenu sp. Since the southern 
right whale, E. australis, is the only species 
known to occur in Australian waters, we have 




FIGURE 6. Postero-ventral view of E. australis cranium W57-1 in situ. The skull is partly resting on a large 
mandible (W57-2). Photo: C. Kemper. 



162 



C. M. KEMPER & C. R. SAMSON 




FIGURE 7. Ventro-lateral view of right bulla and 
periotic (Wl-28) of E. australis. Black and white scale 
bar is cm. Photo: Trevor Peters. 



assumed that this is the species present in the 
material at Fowler Bay. Vertebral epiphyses, even 
when complete, were considered too difficult to 
assign to genus or species. 

No skull was complete and what remained of 
five of the six excavated crania were the robust 
parts, including the occipital region and the 
squamosal bones (Figs 5, 6). The rostrum and 
frontals were missing and what remained of the 
skull looked worn. Distinctive features that the 
Fowler Bay skulls had in common with 
Eubalaena spp. were the large, squarish occipital 
shield (Fig. 5), the well-developed and 
ventroanteriorly projecting postglenoid process of 
the squamosal (Fig. 6), the deep pterygoid fossae 
(Fig. 6) and the large, distinctively-shaped bulla 
(Fig. 7). Identifiable fragments of skulls included 
the posterolateral tips of a frontal bone and 
maxilla. The part cranium at W3 was much less 
well preserved than the other excavated skulls and 
consisted of one half of a large occipital condyle, 
similar in shape to the condyles of the other 
skulls, and the adjacent portion of the squamosal. 
This skull was later identified as probable E. 
australis (Appendix 1). 

The vertebrae were large, dense and robust, all 
of which are features typical of Eubalaena spp. 
The cervical vertebrae (Fig. 8) were fused into 




FIGURE 8: Posterior view of broken E. australis cervical vertebrae (W66-1). Thoracic vertebra, fused to seventh 
cervical, is in foreground. Scale bar is 10 cm long and marked in 1 cm units. Photo: Trevor Peters. 



FOWLER BAY WHALE REMAINS 



163 




FIGURE 9. Right lateral (a) and posterior views (b) of 
mid-thoracic vertebra (W2-4) of E. australis. Black and 
white scale bar' is cm. Photo: Trevor Peters. 



one mass, a feature of Balaenidae and the very 
much smaller Neobalaenidae. In the Fowler Bay 
specimen the first thoracic vertebra was also fused 
to the cervical mass, suggesting it could have been 
from an old animal. The thoracic vertebrae had 
sub-triangular centra when viewed from front or 
back and the distal ends of their transverse 
processes were positioned well above the centra 
(Fig. 9). The prezygapophyses of the lumbar 
vertebrae projected quite far anteriorly and 
the transverse processes were narrow 
anteroposteriorly and thick dorsoventrally. The 
caudal vertebrae were almost round in cross- 
section and the neural spine of the mid-caudals 
had a rounded profile and remained the most 
obvious feature on the dorsal surface, relative to 
the prezygapophyses (Fig. 10). 

The proximal end of the anterior ribs (ribs 1 
and 2 were not found) had a tapered capitulum, 
a weakly developed tuberculum and an elongate 
collum. A deep depression was present on the 
anterior face of the proximal end of the anterior 
ribs (Fig. 1 1). The two excavated chevrons (Fig. 

12) were comparable in size and shape with the 
ninth or tenth chevron of the 17 m E. glacialis 
studied by Omura et al. (1969). The almost- 
complete sternum was simple in outline (Fig. 

13) and lacked the lateral 'wings' found in 
some balaenopterids. It was roughly similar in 
shape to the E. glacialis illustrated in Omura et 
al. (1969). 

Size, relative age and number of individuals 

The body lengths of the E. australis from 
Fowler Bay were estimated by comparing 
estimated maximum skull widths with those of 
known-length Eubalaena spp. using the same 
statistical procedures described in Kemper and 
Leppard (1999) for the pygmy right whale, 
Caperea marginata (Tables 1, 2). The resulting 
estimated body lengths of the five animals were in 
the order of 1 5 to 18 m. 

The one almost-complete mandible, 
measured in situ, was at least 340 cm long. 
Compared with the mandible length of a 
12.6 m female E. glacialis (318 cm) and 
15.2 m male (446 cm) (Omura et al. 1969), the 
Fowler Bay specimen would have been at least 
13 m body length. 

The surface of the only bulla found was rugose 
(Fig. 7), suggesting that it was from an old animal. 
It was somewhat smaller (maximum length = 
14.0 cm) than the bulla of the 1 1.5 m specimen at 
the South Australian Museum (M 141 35 maximum 
bulla length = 15.3 cm) but this could in part have 



164 



C. M. KEMPER & C. R. SAMSON 



TABLE 1. Prediction statistics for estimating body length from measurements of maxmum skull width of 15 
known-length Eubalaena spp. 



Maximum Skull 


Mean Predicted 


Lower Predicted 


Upper Predicted 


Width (cm) 


Body Length (m) 


Body Length (m) 


Body Length (m) 


50 


6.58 


5.72 


7.45 


100 


7.97 


7.01 


8.94 


150 


9.75 


8.68 


10.81 


200 


11.93 


10.74 


13.13 


250 


14.39 


13.06 


15.73 


300 


16.52 


15.12 


17.92 



TABLE 2: Estimated skull widths and body lengths of Eubalaena australis from Fowler Bay, SA. Specimen 
numbers cross-referenced to Appendix 1 . 



Specimen No. 


Available Width 


Proportion 


Estimated 


Estimated 




(cm) 


Available 


Skull Width 
(cm) 


Body Length 
(m) 


Wl-8 


205 


73% 


280 


15-17 


W2-11 


202 


58% 


290 


15-17 


W57-1 


240 


75% 


324 


16-18 


W62 


200 


60% 


290 


15-17 


W68 


214 


67% 


285 


15-17 




FIGURE 10. Anterior view of E. australis mid-caudal 
vertebra (W2-35). Dark areas are charred bone. Black 
and white scale bar is cm. Photo: Trevor Peters. 



been because the Fowler Bay specimen was quite 
weathered. The E. australis bullae listed by Dixon 
(1990) had maximum lengths of 14.1 to 16.9 cm. 
Bulla size has limited use as a predictor of body 
length of baleen whales (Kemper and Leppard 
1999). 

All of the excavated postcranial bones were large 
and well formed, and were therefore not from 
calves or young subadults. Of the 36 vertebrae, 24 
had fused epiphyses and were therefore from 
animals having reached or approaching physical 
maturity. Of the 24 vertebrae with fused epiphyses, 
1 1 were thoracic and therefore from physically 
mature animals. The vertebrae with unfused 
epiphyses were all large and appeared to be from 



TABLE 3: Centrum widths (cm) of two known-length 
Eubalaena glacialis (Omura et al. 1971) compared with 
those of Fowler Bay vertebrae. Centrum widths of 
known-length animals are means of the full series for 
each skeleton, n = number of vertebrae. 



Vertebral region 



15.2 m 12.6 m Fowler Bay 
male female 



Anterior thoracic 
Posterior thoracic 
Lumbar 



29 
32 
35 



26 
29 
30 



24-32 (n = 6) 
28 (n = 2) 
25-30 (n = 3) 



FOWLER BAY WHALE REMAINS 



165 




FIGURE 1 1. Proximal ends of anterior ribs (Wl-6, Wl-7) in situ. Scale bar is marked in 10 cm and 1 cm units 
Photo: C. Kemper. 




FIGURE 12. Left lateral view of E. australis chevron 
(Wl-30). Black and white scale bar is cm. Pholo: 
Trevor Peters. 



animals that were at least 1 2 m body length (Table 
3). The 1 1 complete or almost-complete ribs 
measured 104-210 cm in length. Anterior ribs 
measured 174 to >203 cm and were roughly 
comparable to the lengths of the anterior ribs ( 193— 
237 cm, excluding the first rib) of the 17 ra £. 
glacial is studied by Omura etal. (1969). 

The number of individual whales found in the 
remains was determined by counting the skulls: 
five excavated and positively identified as E. 
australis, one excavated and probably E. australis 
and four not excavated and possibly E. australis. 
The minimum number is therefore six. possibly 
10, individual right whales. 



Discussion 

An estimate of the number of right whales taken 
by local bay whaling operations in Western 
Australian coastal waters in the period 1836-1878 
was made by Bannister (1986), while Dawbin 
(1986) compiled a total for southeastern 
Australian coastal waters and New Zealand, taken 



166 



C. M. KEMPER & C. R. SAMSON 




FIGURE 13. Ventral view of probable E. australis sternum (W3-11). Black and white scale bar is cm. Photo: 
Trevor Peters. 



hy both local and pelagic whalers. At least 13 000 
right whales were taken from coastal waters of 
Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania and South 
Australia, three quarters during the decade 1835- 
1844 (Dawbin 1986). The total for South 
Australia was 379 and all were from east of Port 
Lincoln. Bannister (1986) totalled at least 266 for 
southwestern Australia during 1836-1866. In 
addition, he noted a number of pelagic bay 
whaling catches, including that of the 'Amazon', 
which caught 33 right whales (including 13 
calves) and 8 humpbacks (including 3 calves) in 
80 days between 10 June and 28 August 1840. 
The other ship logs listed by Bannister (1986) are 
all too far south or west to have been in the 
Fowler Bay area. Sexton (1990) noted that another 
American whaling ship, 'Martha', was in Fowler 
Bay during the winter of 1840 but no records are 
available of the number of whales caught or the 
barrels of oil it carried when it visited Port 
Lincoln on 22 September. 

Other vessels must certainly have caught whales 
in the area, some probably at Fowler Bay itself. 
Parsons (1981) reported that during 1840 four 
French and one American whaler 'fished' between 
Port Lincoln and Fowler Bay, and in 1841 six 
foreign whalers were in the same region. In 1843 
and 1844, Copping (State Library of Tasmania 
reference CRO.Q.639.22, in Jones and Staniforth 



1996) recalls taking about 70 and 90 'tons' of oil, 
respectively, at 'Fowlers Bay' on the Tasmanian 
ship, 'Grecian'. In the early 19th century whale 
oil was usually measured in tuns or barrels 
(volume measurements) but it could also have 
been measured in tons (weight measurement). We 
have assumed that Copping' s reminiscences really 
meant 'tuns'. The conversion for tuns of oil to 
whale individuals used by Bannister (1986) and 
Dawbin (1986) was 5 tuns per whale. Assuming 
that it was right whales that were being taken and 
that most were adults, the catches made by the 
'Grecian' during 1843 and 1844 were therefore 
about 14 and 18 whales, respectively. This brings 
the minimum total catches for right whales at 
Fowler Bay to at least 65 animals during 1840- 
1844. It is likely that the true number taken there 
was much higher. 

The period of whaling at Fowler Bay was 
probably very short-lived, with its height during 
1840-1844, as it was elsewhere (Dawbin 1986, 
Bannister 1986). Recent surveys of southern right 
whales in the Great Australian Bight have shown 
that animals are now rare at Fowler Bay. On 
annual survey flights in the period 1993-98. the 
only animals recorded in Fowler Bay have been 
two cow-calf pairs in 1993 and five adults in 1997 
(J. Bannister, pers. comm. 1998). This is in 
contrast to the Head of Bight, 150 km to the west. 



FOWLER BAY WHALE REMAINS 



167 



where 179 individual adult (i.e. non-calf) whales 
have been recorded during shore-based studies 
from 1991 to 1994 (Burnell and Bryden 1997). 
Since Fowler Bay was a good anchorage for 
whaling ships, many more whales may have been 
taken there than at Head of Bight, where it would 
have been unsafe to anchor during foul weather. 
Southern right whales have an approximately 3 
year calving cycle and adult females return to the 
coast at least once during that time to give birth 
(Bannister 1990, Best 1990). If fidelity to calving 
site is a feature of the life history of this species, 
it could have taken less than 10 years to decimate 
this important pre-European calving or nursery 
site. 

The log of the 'Amazon' recorded 13 calves yet 
no bones of calves were found in our sample of 
69 identifiable bones. The skeleton of a calf whale 
is not fully developed, is fragile and the bones of 
the skull are not fully fused. Wave action and 
exposure to ultraviolet rays could have easily 
weathered the bones to such a degree that they 
would not remain intact over the intervening 150 
years. If the bones of calves are still present they 
may be in the deeper silts of the spit that has built 
up on the northeastern side of the peninsula since 
last century or on the sea floor. However, a 
cursory search by snorkelling in sediment-filled 
water at the edge of the spit found no bones 
during our study in 1994. Cumbaa (1986) found 
many submerged and well-preserved bones of E. 
glacialis and bowhead whales Balaena mysticetus 
at a Basque whaling site in Labrador 400 years 
after the animals had been taken. Only one animal 
in the <1 year age group (and one possible foetus) 
was found in Cumbaa' s sample of 17 individuals 
but this low proportion is to be expected since 
Labrador was unlikely to have been a calving 
ground for B. mysticetus (Burns, Montague and 
Cowles 1993). 

Estimating body length from maximum skull 
width has been used by researchers of bowhead 
whale hunt remains in the Canadian Arctic 
(Savelle and McCartney 1994) and to predict body 
length of stranded C. marginata (Kemper and 
Leppard 1999). In our study of E. australis 
remains at Fowler Bay the predicted body lengths 
were considered rough approximations because 
two sources of error were likely. The skull 
measurements of known-length animals were 
obtained from a variety of publications which did 
not illustrate the points of measurement and we 
had to estimate skull width itself due to the 
incompleteness of the skulls. 

Maximum body length of E. australis is 17.5 m 



(Bannister, Kemper and Warneke 1996) and 
recent estimates of live adults off South Africa are 
12.4-15.5 m (Best and Ruther 1992). Physical 
maturity, when all vertebrae have fused epiphyses 
and body length is maximum, occurs at about 
16 m and sexual maturity at 12-13 m (Bannister 
et al. 1996). Body lengths of five Fowler Bay 
animals were estimated (from skull 
measurements) at 15-18 m and most of the 
postcranial bones were from large and/or 
physically mature animals. Their size suggests that 
they were also sexually mature. The fact that the 
bones of no obvious yearlings or subadults (i.e. 
about 8-12 m) were located suggests that these 
were not common in the deposit, although a much 
larger sample of bones would be required to 
confirm this. The log of the 'Amazon' reported 
that 13 of the 33 right whales taken were calves 
(Bannister 1986). Assuming that at least an equal 
number of adult females were taken (i.e. the 
mothers of the calves), this leaves seven animals 
that could have been adults or subadults. 

There are no confirmed records of the existence 
of a shore-based whaling station at Fowler Bay 
(Kostoglou and McCarthy 1991). During the 
present study no concrete archaeological evidence 
of a shore-based operation was found, although 
the presence of an extensive rock platform under 
the bones suggested that it would have been a 
suitable site for one (Jones and Staniforth 1996). 
However, a shore-based operation would not have 
had any advantage over flensing the animals by 
the side of the whale ship and boiling the blubber 
on deck as they would if the ship were out to sea. 
There may even have been disadvantages on shore 
in that the southwestern part of the bay was very 
shallow (Fig. 1). 

When Eyre (1845:227) visited Fowler Bay in 
1840 he noted that whale bones and carcasses 
'were strewed in all directions' on the beach. 
Without a thorough search of the whole shore and 
bay, including under water, we do not know 
whether our study site was extraordinarily dense 
in bones compared with the rest of the bay. It may 
have been that the bones simply persisted there 
for longer because they were protected from the 
prevailing southwesterlies, and because they were 
covered by sand and silt blown from the peninsula 
to the south and deposited in this low energy 
section of the bay (Short et al. 1986). The 
excavated skulls and many of the other bones 
were broken, worn and disarticulated, and there 
were large cobbles amongst them. This suggests 
that the skeletons experienced strong wave action 
at some time after the carcasses disintegrated. 



168 



C. M. KEMPER & C. R. SAMSON 



probably during easterly or southeasterly storms. 
Coarse material, suggesting that it had been 
deposited during storms, was found in the lower 
stratigraphic layers at the excavated sites (Jones 
and Staniforth 1996). If the study site was the 
densest accumulation of bones, there are two 
explanations for it being in the southwesterly part 
of the bay. 1) Whalers processed animals on the 
extensive rock platform there (not found 
elsewhere in the bay) and/or 2) the ships often 
anchored just to the east of our study area. Here 
the water depth would have been >4 fathoms 
(about 7 m), possibly deep enough for a whaling 
barque of up to 300 tons and drawing about 15- 
20 feet of water (4.5-5.5 m, Church 1938), and it 
would have been relatively close to shore. This 
position would have provided the most protection 
during the prevailing winter south and 
southwesterly winds (Bannister, pers. coram.). 
Wave refraction around Point Fowler (Short et al. 
1986) could have deposited carcasses and/or 
bones, and subsequently silt and sand, where our 
study site was. 

If future studies of the whale bones at Fowler 
Bay are carried out they should include submarine 
searches for bone and archaeological material. 
This may provide better information on the 
number of animals taken and the proportions of 
different whale age classes, as well as evidence of 
either shore- or ship-based whaling. 



Acknowledgments 

We thank Kingsley Turner for advising CK that 
whale bones were present at Fowler Bay. This study 
would not have been possible without the logistic 
organisation of the expedition by ANZSES, the science 
leaders Debbie Thiele and Claire Green, and the 
enthusiastic assistance of the expeditioners. In 
particular, we would like to thank Nola Haines, June 
Barker, Dave and Betty King, Fay Norton, Sally 
Symonds, Anne Watkins. Michael Giacometti. Jennifer 
Thurmer and Brett Bannerman. Marg and Mo Wheadon, 
of the Fowler Bay shop, were most helpful in providing 
supplies and much-needed showers. 

John Bannister offered helpful comments on 
historical whaling in the Australian region and provided 
information on one of the known-length E. australis 
skulls. Neville Pledge provided helpful comments on 
parts of the manuscript. 

Mark Staniforth and Mike Jones made many useful 
suggestions during the study and organised the mapping 
of the site. Mark also was instrumental in planning the 
study with the authors and researching some of the 
historical literature and charts of the Fowler Bay region. 

National Parks and Wildlife South Australia gave 
permission to conduct the study in the reserve and put 
up the information sign which now stands at the site. 

Phillip Leppard ran the statistics for estimating whale 
body length. Richard Sabin kindly measured a E. 
australis skull in the Natural History Museum 
(London). Trevor Peters took the photos of the collected 
bones and Jennifer Thurmer provided advice on the line 
drawings. 



References 



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BURNELL, S. R. & BRYDEN, M. M. 1997. Coastal 
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(eds). 1993. 'The Bowhead Whale'. Special 
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CHURCH, A. C. 1938. 'Whale Ships and Whaling'. W. 
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CUMBAA, S. L. 1986. Archaeological evidence of the 
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DAKIN, W. J. 1938. 'Whalemen Adventurers' revised 
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Sirius Books in 1963. 

DAWBIN, W. H. 1986. Right whales caught in waters 
around south eastern Australia and New Zealand 
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FOWLER BAY WHALE REMAINS 



169 



DIXON, J. M. 1990. Record of a southern right whale 
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EYRE, E. J. 1845. 'Journals of Expeditions of 
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FAULL, J. 1988. 'Life on the Edge. The Far West Coast 
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JONES, M. D. & STANIFORTH, M. 1996. Fowlers 
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Unpublished report to The Australian and New 
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KEMPER, C. M. & LEPPARD, P. (1999). Estimating 
body length of pygmy right whales (Caperea 
marginata) from measurements of the skeleton and 
baleen. Marine Mammal Science 15: 683-700. 

KOSTOGLOU, P. & MCCARTHY, J. 1991. Whaling 
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SEXTON, R. T. 1990. 'Shipping Arrivals and 
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BUCKLEY, R. C. 1986. Coastal morphodynamics 
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THE ADMIRALTY, 1939. Survey of Port Eyre by W. 
N. Goalen, under the direction of Commander F. 
Howard, Royal Navy, in 1878. London. 

TRUE, F. W. 1904. The whalebone whales of the 
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TURNER, W. 1913. The right whale of the north 
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170 



C. M. KEMPER & C. R. SAMSON 



APPENDIX 1. Details of excavated bones at the Fowler Bay site. Reliability of identification; 1 = E. auslralis with 
certainty, 2 = E. australis probable, 3 = unknown large whale species. Measurements; L = length. W = width, H = 
height, CW = maximum centrum width, CH = maximum centrum height, TPW = distance between the extremities 
of the transverse processes, TH = height of the vertebra from the ventral side of the centrum to the dorsal extremity 
of the neural spine, WBPF = width between pterygoid fossae, GW = maximum available width of skull, SOW = 
supraoccipital width, bulla L = maximum length of bulla, rib length = maximum length in a straight line from end 
to end, chevron length = length of dorsal articulating surface. ( ) = measured from photographs. * = collected for 
SA Museum. 



Bone Type 



Species Measurements (cm) 



Specimen 
Number 



Site Wl 

cranium 

left periotic* 

left periotic* 

right bulla and periotic* 

unknown part of skull 

possible part mandible 

single-headed, posterior rib 

single-headed, posterior rib 

double-headed, anterior rib 

part anterior rib 

double-headed, anterior rib 

double-headed, anterior rib 

possible posterior rib 

part rib 

mid-thoracic vertebra, epiphyses fused* 

anterior thoracic vertebra, no epiphyses* 

anterior thoracic vertebra, epiphyses fused* 

anterior thoracic vertebra, epiphyses free 

posterior lumbar vertebra, epiphyses free* 

mid-lumbar vertebra, epiphyses fused 

mid-lumbar vertebra, epiphyses fused* 

anterior caudal vertebra, epiphyses fused 

anterior caudal vertebra, epiphyses fused ? 

caudal vertebral epiphysis 

transverse process of vertebra 

chevron* 

possible rib or premaxilla 

unknown mass of bone 

bone fragments 



1 


GW>205, SOW = 70 


1 




1 




1 


bulla L= 13.4, max. L= 14.0 


3 


L=45, W=15 


3 




2 


L= 185, W= 10 


2 


L = 210, W= 16 


3 


L= 185, W= 10 


2 




2 


L= 174, W= 12 


2 


L = 207, W= 13 


3 


L>104, W = 5 


3 





CW = 35, TPW = 33x2 

CW = 24, CH = 19, TPW = 47, TH = 49 

CW = 26, CH = 23, TH = 63 

CW = 25, CH = 21, TPW = 49 

CW = 25, CH = 22, TPW = 69 

CW = 29, CH = 25, TPW = -88 

CW = 33, CH >23 

CW = 34, CH = 32, TPW >66 

CW = 30, CH = 31 



L = 35 

H= 19.4, ventral L: 



15.6 



Wl-8 

Wl-26 

Wl-27 

Wl-28 

Wl-5 

Wl-15 

Wl-1 

Wl-2 



-3 
-4 

6 

7 

10 

9 

11 

14 

18 



Wl 

Wl 

Wl 

Wl 

Wl 

Wl 

Wl 

Wl 

Wl 

Wl-22 

Wl-16 

Wl-19 

Wl-20 

Wl-17 

Wl-29 

Wl-13 

Wl-21 

Wl-30 

Wl-23 

Wl-12 

Wl-24 



Site W2 

cranium 

pterygoid fossae of skull* 
posterior tip of maxilla* 
distal tip of frontal* 
possible part of skull 
possible part mandible 
possible part mandible 
possible part mandible 
double-headed, anterior rib 
double-headed anterior rib 
posterior rib 

double-headed, anterior rib* 
possible anterior rib 



GW >202, WBPF = 56 

W= 15 

-50 

W>22, L>110 
W-28 

L>146, W>33 
L= 193, W= 12 
L= 190, W= 14 
L= 173, W= 12 
L>200 
L>203 



W2-11 
W2-6 

W2-42 

W2-43 

W2-38 

W2-13 

W2-15 

W2-27 

W2-8 

W2-10 

W2-12 

W2-23 

W2-26 



FOWLER BAY WHALE REMAINS 



171 



Bone Type 



Species Measurements (cm) 



Specimen 
Number 



part rib 3 

possible part rib 3 

part rib 3 

anterior thoracic vertebra, epiphyses free* 
anterior thoracic vertebra, epiphyses fused* 
anterior thoracic vertebra, epiphyses free? 
anterior thoracic vertebra, epiphyses fused* 
mid-thoracic vertebra, epiphyses fused 
thoracic vertebra, epiphysis free 
mid-thoracic vertebra, epiphyses fused 
anterior thoracic vertebra, epiphyses fused 
anterior thoracic vertebra, epiphyses fused 
anterior thoracic vertebra, epiphyses free 
posterior lumbar vertebra, epiphyses fused 
mid-lumbar vertebra, epiphyses fused 
mid-lumbar vertebra, epiphyses free 
mid-lumbar vertebra, epiphyses fused 
lumbar vertebra, epiphyses free 
possible lumbar vertebra, epiphyses fused? 
posterior caudal vertebra, epiphyses fused* 
mid-caudal vertebra, epiphyses free?* 
posterior caudal vertebra, epiphyses free* 
caudal vertebral epiphysis* 3 

thoracic or lumbar vertebral epiphysis* 3 

vertebral epiphysis* 3 

transverse process of vertebra ? 3 

neural spine of vertebra* 2 

transverse process of vertebra 2 

possible neural spine of vertebra 3 

chevron* 1 

unknown 3 

unknown 3 



L>78 

CW = 32, CH = 23, TPW = 60, TH : 

CW = 29, CH = 21, TPW = 45 

CW = 29, CH = 23 

CW = 28, CH= 19, TPW = 52 

CW = 27, CH = 23, TPW = 40x2 

CW = 28, CH -26 

CW = 28, CH = 22 

CW = 27 

CW = 26, CH = 21, TPW = 28x2 

CW = 27, CH = 23 

CW = 34, CH = 32 

CW = 34, CH = 21, TPW = 45 

CW = 30, CH = 27, TPW >86 

CW = 32, CH = 3 1 , TPW = 44x2 

CW = 28, CH -25 

CW -30, CH -32 

CW = 31,CH = 32 

CW = 33, CH = 33 

CW = 28, CH = 30 

diameter = 31 

W = 29 

W = 24, H= 18 



H= 19, L = 4 



64 



W2-32 

W2-5 

W2-25 

W2-4 

W2-14 

W2-22 

W2-29 

W2-30 

W2-33 

W2-34 

W2-36 

W2-37 

W2-44 

W2-2 

W2-16 

W2-20 

W2-28 

W2-39 

W2-17 

W2-19 

W2-35 

W2-40 

W2-1 

W2-9 

W2-21 

W2-31 

W2-18 

W2-7 

W2-3 

W2-45 

W2-41 

W2-24 



Site W3 

part cranium (occipital condyle, part squamosal) 2 

part of frontal bone of skull 1 

part rib 3 

rib fragment 3 

rib? fragment 3 

distal part of rib 3 

anterior thoracic vertebra, epiphyses free 1 

thoracic vertebra, epiphysis fused 2 

part thoracic vertebra 3 
transverse process of thoracic or lumbar vertebra 2 

caudal vertebral epiphysis 3 

sternum* 2 

unknown 3 

unknown 3 



W = 24 
W=12 
W = 8 

W= 11 

CW = 24, CH = 20, TPW = 23x2 
CH = 23 

L = 28 

diameter = 29 
L = 45, W = 29 



W3-3 

W3-2 

W3-10 

W3-13 

W3-14 

W3-5 

W3-1 

W3-7 

W3-12 

W3-4 

W3-9 

W3-11 

W3-6 

W3-8 



Site W54 

possible part mandible 
proximal fragment of rib 
lumbar vertebra, epiphyses fused 
posterior caudal vertebra, epiphyses fused 



CW = 31, CH = 29, TPW = 44x2, TH = 75 
diameter = 3 1 



W54-4 
W54-3 
W54-1 
W54-2 



172 



C. M. KEMPER & C. R. SAMSON 



Bone Type 



Species Measurements (cm) 



Specimen 
Number 



Site W57 

cranium 

left mandible 

double-headed, anterior rib 

mid-thoracic vertebra, epiphyses fused 

lumbar vertebra, epiphyses fused 

unknown 

unknown 

unknown 



(GW >240) 

L>340 

L>153 

CW = 24, CH = 22, TPW = 28x2 

CW = 42, CH = 26, TH = 80 



W57-1 
W57-2 
W57-3 
W57-5 
W57-4 
W57-6 
W57-7 
W57-8 



Site W62 

cranium 



(GW >200) 



W62 



Site W66 

cervical vertebrae* 

posterior thoracic vertebra, epiphyses fused 



max. H ~ 45, max. W - 74 
(CW = 28, CH = 26) 



W66-1 
W66-2 



Site W68 



(GW >214) 



W68 



GENETIC VARIATION AND TAXONOMY OF THE LIZARDS ASSIGNED 
TO CTENOTUS UBER ORIENTALIS (SQUAMATA : SCINCIDAE) WITH 

DESCRIPTION OF A NEW SPECIES 

MarkN. Hutchinson & Stephen C. Donellan 



Summary 

Analysis of allozyme and morphological variation reveals that at least two scincid lizard species are 
presently confused under the trinomial Ctenotus uber orientalis. The status of orientalis is 
reassessed here with its elevation to a full species, while a new species is described from central 
South Australia, extending narrowly into adjacent areas of the Northern Territory, New South 
Wales and Queensland. This study reveals that significant genetic divergence has occurred within 
and between species groups of the large genus Ctenotus. 



GENETIC VARIATION AND TAXONOMY OF THE LIZARDS ASSIGNED TO 

CTENOTUS UBER ORIENT ALIS STORR (SQUAMATA: SCINCIDAE) 

WITH DESCRIPTION OF A NEW SPECIES 



MARK N. HUTCHINSON & STEPHEN C. DONNELLAN 



MARK N. HUTCHINSON & STEPHEN C. DONNELLAN 1999. Genetic variation and 
taxonomy of the lizards assigned to Cterwtus uber orientalis Storr (Squamata: Scincidae) with 
description of a new species. Records of the South Australian Museum 32(2): 173-189. 

Analysis of allozyme and morphological variation reveals that at least two scincid lizard 
species are presently confused under the trinomial Ctenotus uber orientalis. The status of 
orientalis is reassessed here with its elevation to a full species, while a new species is described 
from central South Australia, extending narrowly into adjacent areas of the Northern Territory, 
New South Wales and Queensland. This study reveals that significant genetic divergence has 
occurred within and between species groups of the large genus Ctenotus. 

Hutchinson, M. N. and Donnellan, S. C. South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, 
SA, 5000. Manuscript received 3 February 1999. 



Storr (1969) described Ctenotus uber from 
Western Australia as part of his initial taxonomic 
review of Ctenotus, Australia's largest genus of 
terrestrial vertebrates. In 1971 he described an 
eastern subspecies, C. u. orientalis, the only form 
recognised east of Western Australia. A third 
taxon, C. u. johnstonei was later described from 
northern Western Australia (Storr 1980). These 
taxa are all members of the Ctenotus leonhardii 
species group, one of several defined by Storr 
(1970, Storr et at 1981, King et al. 1988) to aid 
identification. The phylogenetic relationships 
within and between Storr' s species groups are yet 
to be studied. 

There is considerable morphological variation 
in populations assigned to both of the 
widespread subspecies, C. u. uber and C. u. 
orientalis. The latter subspecies includes 
blackish, heavily spotted lizards, mostly 
distributed in the semi-arid to dry temperate 
woodlands of southern South Australia, Victoria 
and southern New South Wales, as well as 
populations of much plainer animals which 
inhabit arid chenopod and gibber habitats in the 
Lake Eyre basin through eastern South Australia 
to western New South Wales. Such apparent 
ecological and morphological plasticity is 
unusual in a single species and prompted us to 
question whether one or more cryptic species 
might be included within C. u. orientalis 
(Donnellan et al. 1993). It also led us to revisit 
the taxonomy of orientalis with respect to uber. 



Materials And Methods 

We followed Storr (1969 et seq.), Greer (1982), 
King et al. (1988) and Hutchinson and Rawlinson 
(1995) in defining and describing morphological 
characters, such as scalation and proportions. 
Specimens examined were from the collections of 
the South Australian Museum, Adelaide (SAMA) 
and Western Australian Museum, Perth (WAM), 
and eastern Australian specimens in the Australian 
Museum, Sydney (AMS) and the Museum of 
Victoria, Melbourne (NMV). 

Thirty-one specimens of South Australian C. u. 
orientalis were analysed for electrophoretic 
variation. These encompassed all of the 
morphological variation known and represented a 
wide geographical sampling. In order to assess the 
significance of any variation found, we also typed 
samples of three other morphologically similar 
South Australian species of Ctenotus — C. 
leonhardii, C. regius and C. septenarius 
(members of the C. leonhardii species group, 
Storr 1970). The morphologically distinct 
Ctenotus strauchii varius (C. colletti species 
group) was included as a more distant outgroup. 

Our methods for allozyme electrophoresis using 
cellulose acetate gels ('CellogeF, Chemtron, 
Milan) follow Richardson et al. (1986). We scored 
the protein and enzyme products of 42 presumed 
loci for patterns of allelic variation. The proteins 
that were stained, abbreviations used and their 
Enzyme Commission numbers (International 



174 



M. N. HUTCHINSON & S. C. DONNELLAN 



Union of Biochemistry 1984) were: aspartate 
aminotransferase (AAT, EC 2.6.1.1), aconitate 
hydratase (ACOH, EC 4.2.1.3), acid phosphatase 
(ACP, EC 3.1.3.2), aminoacyclase (ACYC, EC 
3.5.1.14), alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH, EC 
1.1.1.1), albumen (ALB), carbonate dehydratase 
(CA, EC 4.2.1.1), diaphorase (DIA, EC 1.6.99.?), 
enolase (ENO, EC 4.2.1.11), esterase (EST, EC 
3.1.1.?), fructose-bisphosphatase (FBP, EC 
3.1.3.11), fumarate hydratase (FUMH, EC 
4.2.1.2), ' glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate 
dehydrogenase (GAPDH, EC 1.2.1.12), glycerol- 
3-phosphate dehydrogenase (G3PDH, EC 1.1.1.8), 
glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH, EC 
1.1.1.49), glucose-6-phosphate isomerase (GPI, 
EC 5.3.1.9), glutamate dehydrogenase (GTDH, 
EC 1.4.1.3), 3-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase 
(HBDH, EC 1.1.1.30), L-iditol dehydrogenase 
(IDDH, EC 1.1.1.14), isocitrate dehydrogenase 
(IDH, EC 1.1.1.42), cytosol aminopeptidase (LAP, 
EC 3.4.11.1), L-Iactate dehydrogenase (LDH, EC 
1.1.1.27), lactoylglutathione lyase (LGL, EC 
4.4.1.5), malate dehydrogenase (MDH, EC 
1.1.1.37), mannose-6-phosphate isomerase (MPI, 
EC 5.3.1.8), dipeptidase (PEP-A, EC 3.4.13.?), 
tripeptide aminopeptidase (PEP-B, EC 3.4.11.?), 
dipeptidase (PEP-C, EC 3.4.13.?), proline 
dipeptidase (PEP-D, EC 3.4.13.?), 
phosphoglycerate mutase (PGAM, EC 5.4.2.1), 
phosphogluconate dehydrogenase (PGDH, EC 
1.1.1.44), phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK, EC 
2.7.2.3), phosphoglucomutase (PGM, EC 5.4.2.2), 
purine-nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP, EC 
2.4.2.1), superoxide dismutase (SOD, EC 
1.15.1.1), and triose-phosphate isomerase (TPI, 
EC 5.3.1.1). 

We based our initial analysis of the allozyme 
data on the null hypothesis that all samples 
stemming from a single panmictic species, which 
predicts genotype frequencies will conform to 
Hardy-Weinberg expectations. We examined 
multi-locus genotypes of individual skinks from a 
single locality for the Wahlund effect, a deficiency 
of heterozygotes from that predicted under Hardy- 
Weinberg expectations due to a sample with two 
or more genetically differentiated populations. 
The presence of two or more species in sympatry 
is often evident from the presence of fixed allelic 
differences at one or more loci where the 
genotypic classes are concordant among 
individuals (see Richardson et al. [1986] for a 
more detailed explanation). When we observed 
evidence of departure from Hardy-Weinberg 
expectations at one or more loci, individuals 
classified according to these multi-locus 



genotypes were treated as a population. Where no 
evidence of departure from Hardy-Weinberg 
expectations was observed, we treated all of the 
individuals at each of these locations as a 
population. Given our null hypothesis, this meant 
that in some cases we pooled distinct locations in 
the absence of genetic differentiation between the 
samples. We expressed phenetic diversity among 
populations using the Unweighted Pair-Group 
(UPGMA, Sneath & Sokal 1973) method. We also 
made a preliminary assessment of the 
phylogenetic relationships of the populations 
studied using the Fitch-Margoliash method (Fitch 
& Margoliash 1967), based on Rogers' D, and a 
parsimony analysis, scoring the electromorphs 
using the method of Georges and Adams (1992). 
Software used for the analysis were the FITCH 
algorithm from Felsenstein's PHYLIP package, 
with input order randomised using the SHUFFL 
routine (25 passes), and the heuristic parsimony 
algorithm of Swofford's PAUP*. 



Results 

The allozyme data identified 15 genotypic 
populations from among the specimens identified 
as C. u. orientalis, with 10 additional populations 
identified among the outgroup species (Table 1). 
Figure 1 shows the UPGMA phenogram of the 
percentage fixed allelic differences between 
populations, while Fig. 2 shows a phylogenetic 
hypothesis for these populations based on the 
Fitch-Margoliash tree. The parsimony analysis 
produced the same topology. 

The populations of C. u. orientalis fell into one 
of three clusters. Most belonged to two groups, one 
primarily southern and one primarily central, 
separated by a minimum of three fixed allelic 
differences at the Adh, Dia and Pep-A loci. A third 
group, is represented by the single specimen from 
Arrabury, Queensland which has a minimum of 
three fixed (or almost fixed) allelic differences at 
the Acoh, Pep-B and Sod-1 loci compared with the 
other two groups. Our sampling is not adequate to 
examine geographic patterns of variation within 
each cluster but the presence of some within-group 
allelic variation suggests that future, more detailed 
sampling would yield useful information. 

Ctenotus leonhardii, C. regius, and C. 
septenarius, also members of the C. leonhardii 
species group, were distinct from the three C. u. 
orientalis groups and from C. strauchii varius. 
Interspecific levels of genetic divergence within 
the C. leonhardii group ranged from an average 



TAXONOMY OF CTENOTUS UBER ORIENTALIS 



175 



24 16,23 



15o 




200 km 



FIGURE 1 . Map of South Australia showing the geographic origin of the populations sampled for allozyme data. 
See appendix for details of localities and specimens. 



of 9% fixed differences between 'southern' and 
'central' C. u. orientalis to 20% between C. 
leonhardii and the other species group members. 
As expected, C. s. varius was the most divergent 
taxon, with an average of 34% fixed allelic 
differences compared with any member of the C. 
leonhardii species group. 

The three genetic groups within C. u. orientalis 
can be distinguished morphologically. The 
'southern' group is identical to the holotype of C. 
u. orientalis. The pale dorsolateral stripe is 
prominent and continuous, the black laterodorsal 
stripes have straight medial edges and completely 
enclose single series of pale dots or short dashes 
and there is always a light-edged, black vertebral 



stripe. The lateral pattern consists of two to four 
series of small white dots, bordered below by a 
white midlateral stripe which is continuous 
posteriorly but which normally breaks up well 
before reaching the axilla. 

The 'central' group has variable development 
of a light dorsolateral stripe and the black 
laterodorsal stripes are absent or ragged-edged 
medially; if a laterodorsal series of pale dots is 
present, the spots are not completely surrounded 
by blackish background colour, but contact the 
light laterodorsal region. The dorsum is usually 
metallic medium brown with a black vertebral 
stripe which lacks distinct pale edges. The lateral 
pattern is similar to that of the 'southern' group. 



176 



M. N. HUTCHINSON & S. C. DONNELLAN 



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178 



M. N. HUTCHINSON & S. C. DONNELLAN 



50 



40 



30 



20 



10 



-2 



r- orientalis 1 

orientalis 2 

H orientalis 3 

orientalis 4 

orientalis 5 

orientalis 6 

, — olympicus 1 

r olympicus 8 

olympicus 7 

olympicus 9 

olympicus 1 3 

olympicus 1 2 
olympicus 
olympicus 
Arrabury 



h: 



11 

14 
15 
23 
21 
22 



I— regius 
regius 
regius 

septenarius 1 6 

septenarius 1 7 

, — leonhardii 20 

leonhardii 1 8 

leonhardii 1 9 

I — strauchii 24 

I — strauchii 25 



H 



FIGURE 2. Phenogram of percentage fixed differences, constructed by UPGMA, for 25 populations of Ctenotus 
species. 



TAXONOMY OF CTENOTUS UBER ORIENTALIS 



179 



The single specimen from Arrabury is heavily 
speckled dorsally and laterally, but with weakly 
contrasting dorsal stripes, the upper lateral and 
laterodorsal stripes being medium brown rather 
than blackish. The light dorsolateral stripe consists 
of dark-edged, light-centred scales and is 
indistinct due to the presence of other pale-centred 
scales which pattern the laterodorsal and upper 
lateral zones. 

Two cases of syntopy are known, from the 
Flinders ranges (AMS R60053-54, 21 km S of 
Copley, P. Rankin & G. Husband, 22 January 
1977) and the Olary Spur (SAMA R13156, 
R39266, near Oulnina homestead, R. Forsyth, 1 
April 1972), and the distributions of the 
'southern' and 'central' groups abut or overlap in 
the Gawler Ranges, Flinders Ranges and on the 
Olary Spur. There is no suggestion in the 
morphology or the allozyme data of clinal or other 
variation which might indicate genetic continuity 
between the two groups, while the groups 
maintain internal genetic uniformity over wide 
geographic ranges. 

Typical C. u. uber was not available for 
electrophoretic comparisons, but it represents a 
fourth and highly distinctive morphological group, 
characterised by rufous rather than grey-brown 
dorsal colouring, different pattern details and 
longer tail (see also Storr 1971). Ctenotus u. uber 
itself encompasses considerable morphological 
variation. The ranges of C. u. uber and 'southern' 
group do not contact but no obviously 
intermediate specimens or populations are known. 
There seems to be no grounds for assuming, as 
Storr' s taxonomy implied, that uber and orientalis 
are genetically continuous or even sister taxa. 

At least three of the four taxa discussed here, 
C. uber and the 'southern' and 'central' groups 
of C. u. orientalis are species. The distinctive 
morphology, together with multiple concordant 
fixed allelic differences at allozyme loci (in the 
case of C. u. orientalis), and lack of 
intergradation indicate that reticulate evolution 
has ceased between populations of the different 
groups, which are therefore on their own 
evolutionary trajectories (Frost & Hillis 1990). 
The Arrabury specimen we leave indeterminate 
at present, as its taxonomic treatment will 
undoubtedly involve other poorly understood 
populations and nominal species from the eastern 
inland of Australia. Further work is also needed 
to address the taxonomic problems posed by the 
considerable variation that exists within Western 
Australian C. uber, including the status of C. u. 
johnstonei. 



Taxonomy 

All of the following species are members of the 
Ctenotus leonhardii species group, defined 
originally by Storr (1970) and subsequently 
modified by Storr et al. (1981) and King et al. 
(1988). The latter authors defined the C. 
leonhardii species group in part by two 
colouration characteristics, a predominance of 
reddish rather than olive pigmentation, and the 
replacement of black by dark brown pigmentation. 
Neither of these is true for all species; indeed, the 
second is scarcely true for any! In addition, the 
toes are said to be distinctive in being compressed, 
with subdigital lamellae tipped by obtuse keels or 
narrow to moderately wide calli. This 
characteristic is generally true for all species we 
have examined, but leaves considerable leeway for 
observer bias and confusion in applying the 
definition to particular specimens. Species groups, 
and more particularly phylogenetic groups, within 
Ctenotus need to be redefined as lineages rather 
than (as at present) being merely tools to simplify 
identification. 



Ctenotus uber Storr, 1 969 

Ctenotus uber Storr, 1969, p. 102. Holotype: 
WAM R17654, 22 miles SE of Yalgoo, WA 
[approx. 28° 35' S, 116° 26' E]. 

Diagnosis 

Ground colour of body reddish orange. Black 
vertebral stripe very narrow (occupying no more 
than the median one-quarter of each vertebral 
scale row) or absent. Laterodorsal dark brown to 
black stripes bearing a series of distinct pale spots. 
Original tail averages more than 200% of snout- 
vent length (SVL). 

Description 

Storr' s (1969) description of scalation and 
proportions is not significantly altered by the 
larger sample now available for examination. 
Midbody scales in 28-33 rows, the mean of 30.2 
(±1.19), based on a sample of 52 specimens, is 
very close to Storr' s figure of 30.8. The value for 
relative tail length, reported by Storr to average 
222% of SVL based on eight specimens, is 
comparable to the value of 216% (±44.6) obtained 
by us, based on Storr's specimens plus a further 
27 specimens. Nasals almost always separated 
(frequency = 0.96). Prefrontals usually separated 
(frequency = 0.63). Storr's data (1971) suggested 



180 



M. N. HUTCHINSON & S. C. DONNELLAN 




FIGURE 3. Geographic distributions of Ctenotus uber (A), C. orientalis (■) and C. olympicus (Q>). Stars indicate 
two instances of syntopy of C. orientalis and C. olympicus. 



that loreal proportions could help differentiate 
uber and orientalis, but our measurements 
indicate that the two species are very similar in 
this respect; posterior loreal length/height ranges 
0.8-1.6 in both species, and mean values are 1.2 
(±0.17) for C. uber and 1.1 (±0.18) for C. 
orientalis. 

Colour is medium reddish to orange brown on 
the dorsal surface of the head, limbs and tail. 
Laterodorsal and dorsolateral zones black, divided 
by a pale brown to whitish dorsolateral line. A 
narrow black vertebral stripe may be present or 
absent. Laterodorsal dark zone with a single 
longitudinal series of pale brown to whitish spots. 
Upper lateral zone demarcated ventrally by a 
midlateral white stripe beginning in the inguinal 
region, but breaking up anteriorly (about midway 
to forelimb) into a series of whitish spots. Upper 
lateral zone bearing several series of small whitish 
dots. Lower lateral zone variable, with irregular 
grey ventrolateral blotching or spotting. 

Colour photograph in Storr et al. (1981). 

Distribution 

Western Australia, from the Exmouth Gulf area, 
south and east as far as the edge of the Nullarbor 
Plain. Southeastern limits roughly along the line 
connecting Mullewa-Lake Hillman-Parker 
Range-Norseman. Northeastern limit poorly 



defined but few specimens have been recorded 
northeast of a line connecting Dampier and 
Rawlinna. 

Notes 

Storr's type series included specimens now 
assigned to other species: C. orientalis (WAM 
R17268, R17284-85) from the Nullarbor Plain 
and C. septenarius (R20759) from the Rawlinson 
Range. Three specimens, from Mungilli Claypan 
(R26894-5) and 18 km E of Mungilli Claypan 
(R26897, i.e. the vicinity of Mt Johnston at the 
northern end of the Fame Range), are also not 
typical C. uber and are considered further in the 
'Discussion' section below. 

Ctenotus uber is mostly confined to the west 
and southwestern interior of Western Australia. 
There is marked geographic variation in colour 
pattern. The pattern which conforms most closely 
with Storr's original description is that of the 
holotype, in which the zone of dorsal ground 
colour along the vertebral region, which separates 
the laterodorsal zones, is narrow, occupying no 
more than half a paravertebral scale on each side, 
but almost always includes a dark vertebral stripe 
(sometimes fading on the posterior one-third of 
the dorsum). In south-central Western Australia, 
this 'median strip' of rufous colouring is often 
much wider, occupying up to one paravertebral 



TAXONOMY OF CTENOTUS UBER ORIENTALS 



181 



scale on each side, narrowing the laterodorsal 
zones so that the laterodorsal series of spots 
almost contact the middorsal colour, and there is 
usually little or no trace of a dark vertebral stripe 
posterior to the shoulder region. Northwestern 
specimens, from about the latitude of Shark Bay 
northwards, are generally paler with more 
pronounced spotting and less contrasting 
dorsolateral stripes. 



Ctenotus orientalis Storr, 1971 

Ctenotus uber orientalis Storr, 1971, p. 8. 
Holotype: NMV D825, Ouyen, Victoria [35° 04' 
S, 142° 19' E]. 

Minervascincus monaro Wells and Wellington, 
1985, p. 35. Holotype: AMS R92239, 6 km along 
Cambalong Rd, Bombala, New South Wales (36° 
53' S, 149° 08' E). 

Diagnosis 

Ground colour of body beige to medium brown, 
without reddish tinge. Black to dark chocolate or 
dark reddish brown laterodorsal zone generally 
reduces exposure of the ground colour to a pair of 
paravertebral lines and a series of pale dots or 
dashes within each laterodorsal dark zone. Black 
to dark brown vertebral stripe always present and 
usually occupying about one-third of each 
vertebral scale row. A pale brown to white 
dorsolateral stripe always present and straight- 
edged. 

Description 

Storr' s original description was based on few 
specimens and on a composite type series (see 
below). Examination of a series of 31 South 
Australian specimens results in the following 
redescription. 

Midbody scales in 30-35 rows (mean 
32.3±1.49). Nasals usually separated (frequency 
= 0.77). Prefrontals separated (frequency = 0.58) 
or in contact. Supraoculars 4, the first three in 
contact with the frontal. Supraciliaries 6-8, mode 
7. Second (posterior) loreal 0.8-1.6 (mean 1.2) 
times as wide as high. Supralabials 8, with 
occasional asymmetric presence of 7 or 9. Ear 
lobules 4-6, variably shaped and proportioned, 
but generally obtusely pointed and with the 
second (from the top) the largest. Lamellae under 
fourth toe 20-27 (mean 23.9± 1.64), slightly to 
moderately compressed, each with a dark brown 
callus. 

Adults (sexes similar): SVL (n = 26) 56-82 



mm; hindlimb length (n = 26) 28-39 mm (41- 
57% SVL); tail length (n = 12) 109-158 mm 
(168-223% SVL, mean 171%±55.2). 

Head, limbs and tail light grey-brown to tan. 
Body usually best described as black to dark 
brown with a pair of narrow, straight-edged pale 
brown paravertebral lines separating a dark 
vertebral stripe from the dark laterodorsal zones 
(Fig. 4A). The vertebral stripe occupies about one- 
third of each paravertebral scale row and 
terminates on the base of the tail. Each 
laterodorsal dark zone contains a single series of 
pale brown spots or short dashes. Light 
dorsolateral stripe well-developed, straight-edged. 
Upper lateral zone blackish, enclosing numerous 
small off-white dots, arranged roughly in two to 
four longitudinal series. A whitish midlateral 
stripe begins in the groin and runs anteriorly to 
about two-thirds of the axilla-groin distance, 
where it breaks up, becoming indistinguishable in 
the axillary region. Tail and limbs light grey- 
brown to yellowish-brown, the colour sometimes 
extending anteriorly along the posterior third of 
the back, between the vertebral and laterodorsal 
dark stripes. Dorsolateral dark zone extends along 
the tail as a dark brown lateral stripe. Ventral 
surface pearly white in life. 

Colour photographs in Jenkins and Bartell 
(1980, p. 137), Knowles and Wilson (1988, fig. 
413) and in Cogger (1996, p. 448). 

Distribution 

Southern semi-arid to dry temperate Australia 
from the Nullarbor Plain in Western Australia 
across southern South Australia (north to Anna 
Creek), through northwestern Victoria and the far 
south of New South Wales. Scattered populations 
extend further east into dry woodlands of the 
Great Dividing range in northeastern Victoria, 
southeastern New South Wales and the Australian 
Capital Territory. 

Notes 

Storr (1971) described orientalis as a 
subspecies of uber, presumably on the basis of the 
shared dorsal pattern of laterodorsal spots and 
heavily spotted flanks. Since then other spotted- 
backed Ctenotus have been recognised or 
redescribed, so that the shared colour pattern is no 
longer unique to these two species. We separately 
assessed morphological variation in a sample of 
23 Western Australian C. orientalis to see if any 
trends suggested intergradation with C. uber. 
None was apparent. Western Australian C. 
orientalis are if anything more different from C. 



182 



M. N. HUTCHINSON & S. C. DONNELLAN 



uber in colour pattern than eastern C. orientalis, 
with less contrast between the light and dark hues, 
and the tail shorter (mean 166 % SVL, ± 8.4%, n 
= 9). 

Peterson and Shea (1987) reassessed Peters' 
description of Lygosoma schomburgkii, redefined 
as Ctenotus schomburgkii by Storr ( 1 969), which 
has a mixed syntype series, including both 
schomburgkii and uber orientalis, sensu Storr 
(1969, 1971). Peterson and Shea concluded that 
Peters' description applied strictly to the larger 
taxon, i.e. Storr' s uber orientalis, which should 
therefore bear the name schomburgkii with 
nomination of a new lectotype. Storr (1987) in 
reply asserted that the description was more 
ambiguous than suggested by Peterson and Shea 
and that, in his opinion, Peters' description was 
composite. Peters' description of schomburgkii 
would most likely apply to Storr's uber orientalis, 
but Storr's notion of a composite type description 
by Peters remains reasonable; his usage as first 
reviser, and lectotype designation, is accepted 
here. 

Storr's type series of uber orientalis is itself 
composite, including specimens now 
recognised as orientalis (NMV D00825, 
SAMA R0023-24, R01507, R05738, R10122), 
olympicus sp.nov. (SAMA R02789, R09466- 
69, R10017, R10027, R10030, R10044, 
R10055) and septenarius (SAMA R09735). 
Our redefined C. orientalis shows one major 
pattern of geographic variation, with most 
specimens from the Nullarbor Plain being 
markedly lighter coloured, with the 
laterodorsal and upper lateral zones being 
medium to dark reddish brown rather than 
black, reducing the contrast between the light 
and dark dorsal colours. Note that this 
variation does not imply intergradation with C. 
uber, as the rufous colouring of the latter 
species is confined to the lighter areas while 
upper lateral and laterodorsal colour is 
strongly contrasting black. Some southeastern 
Australian specimens have only a single series 
of rather large pale spots in the upper lateral 
zone and a more continuous midlateral stripe. 

Minervascincus monaro Wells and Wellington, 
1985 is based on a New South Wales specimen of 
C. orientalis. The authors provided no description 
of the holotype specimen or the species, nor any 
differential diagnostic data. They declared the 
species to be 'readily identified' by the 
photograph in Jenkins and Bartell (1980, p. 137), 
and that it was 'clearly evident' that the illustrated 
animal was not C. uber, but made no comparison 



with C. orientalis. Examination of both the 
holotype and the cited photograph shows the 
colour and pattern are completely concordant with 
typical C. orientalis, although the holotype 
specimen does have an unusually low midbody 
scale count of 28. It also has the less common 
condition of two other head scale attributes, nine 
supralabials and the nasals in contact. 

Ctenotus orientalis occurs in a variety of warm- 
temperate to semi-arid woodland and heathland 
habitats, including open forest, woodland 
(including mallee) and low shrubland. It occurs 
patchily in the more heavily wooded areas, 
confining itself to especially dry or exposed 
microhabitats. It is syntopic with C. robustus 
through most of its range, but also occurs with C. 
regius in drier areas. From both it is distinguished 
by the presence of dorsal spotting and the 
incomplete pale lateral stripe. These lizards 
usually build their own burrows in sandy soil or 
under rocks. 

Three specimens (AMS R59784-6) registered 
as C. u. orientalis from the western slopes of the 
Dividing Range in New South Wales, in the 
Cassilis area, are distinctive in colouration and 
from outside the range of typical orientalis. 
These are excluded from the distribution map, 
and for now their identification is left as 
indeterminate. 



Ctenotus olympicus sp. nov. 

Holotype: SAMA R20949, male, 48 km S of 
Olympic Dam, SA, 30° 48' S 136° 52' E. 

Paratypes: 13 specimens from South Australia: 
SAMA Rl 8620, approx. 20 km S of Port Augusta, 
32° 38' S, 137° 35' E; R20936, Olympic Dam 
area, 30° 19' S, 136° 57' E; R20944-45, 48 km S 
of Olympic Dam, 30° 48' S, 136° 52' E; R25877, 
Witchelina Station, near homestead, 30° 01' S, 
138° 03' E; R28203, 37 km N of Oodnadatta on 
road to Hamilton homestead, 27° 15' S, 135° 17' 
E; R28494, 118.5 km NE of Minnipa, 32° 15' S, 
136° 14' E; R28503, 119.3 km NE of Minnipa, 
32° 18' S, 136° 16' E; R28517, 115-120 km NE 
of Minnipa, 32° 20' S, 136° 17' E; R28543, 115 
km NE of Minnipa, 32° 16' S, 136° 11' E: 
R30407, Breakaways Reserve, 25 km NNW of 
Coober Pedy, 28° 50' 40" S, 134° 41' 15" E; 
R35937, 95 km E of Maria, 27° 09' S, 134° 21' E; 
R36360, 1 km NE of Alberrie Creek, 29° 37' S, 
137° 33' E. 

The type series is restricted to the specimens 
used in the electrophoretic analysis. 



TAXONOMY OF CTENOTUS UBER ORIENTALS 



183 





B 



FIGURE 4. (A) Ctenotus orientalis from Whyalla, SA. (B) C. olympicus from the Davenport Range, SA. 
Photographs: T. Peters, SA Museum 



1X4 



M. N. HUTCHINSON & S. C. DONNELLAN 



Diagnosis 

A member of the C. leonhardii species group 
with the dorsal ground colour pale beige to 
medium brown, often with a metallic lustre. Black 
vertebral stripe usually present, occupying no 
more than one-quarter of each paravertebral scale 
row and with very weak or no pale edging. 
Laterodorsal dark brown to black stripes, if 
present, with medial margins irregular, broken up 
by scattered lighter centred scales. Light 
dorsolateral line present or absent. Midlateral 
white stripe, if present, not extending anteriorly 
beyond midbody and often completely reduced to 
a zone of whitish spots. Size relatively small, SVL 
usually less than 70 mm; tail moderate (mean 
187% SVL). 

Description. 

Based on type series (n = 14). Midbody scales 
in 28-32 rows (mean 30.9). Nasals usually 
separated (frequency = 0.64). Prefrontals usually 
in point to broad contact (frequency = 0.64) or 
separated. Supraoculars 4, the first three in contact 
with the frontal. Supraciliaries 7, rarely 6 or 8. 
Second loreal 0.8-1.6 (mean 1.2) times as wide as 
high. Supralabials 8, with occasional asymmetric 
presence of 7 or 9. Ear lobules 4-6, mostly 
obtusely pointed, the second or third (from the 
top) the largest. Lamellae under fourth toe 23-29 
(mean 26.2), slightly to moderately compressed, 
each with a dark brown callus. 

Adults (sexes similar; n = 13): SVL 52-69 mm; 
hindlimb length 26-35 mm (45-59% SVL); tail 
length (n = 11) 98-137 mm (170-211% SVL, 
mean 191%). 

In preservative light brown, golden or medium 
brown dorsally. A narrow black vertebral stripe 
almost always present, occupying the corners of 
the paravertebral scale rows and no more than 
one-quarter of a paravertebral scale in width, runs 
from the nape to the base of the tail (Fig. 4B). 
This stripe sometimes poorly contrasting with 
dorsal colour and with no, or only a weakly 
contrasting, pale edge. A cream dorsolateral 
stripe, bordered medially by black, begins behind 
the supraciliaries. The posterior extent of this 
stripe is variable, sometimes continuing as far as 
the hips, but more often breaking into a zone of 
light and dark spots between forelimbs and 
hindlimbs. In specimens with a more continuous 
light dorsolateral stripe, the dark medial border 
(laterodorsal stripe) is usually narrow with a 
ragged medial edge. This stripe may include pale 
spots as in C. orientalis but in these cases the 
dorsolateral light stripe is often poorly defined 



posteriorly due to the adjacent dark areas being 
heavily speckled with whitish. Upper lateral zone 
blackish, with three to four longitudinal series of 
small, irregular pale spots. Upper lateral zone 
continues along the sides of the tail as a brown 
lateral stripe irregularly dotted with black. Lower 
border of upper lateral zone demarcated by a 
series of pale spots and dashes, sometimes 
forming an irregular midlateral stripe posteriorly. 
Lower lateral zone whitish irregularly smudged 
with grey. Ventral surface white. In life hind limbs 
and tail have a reddish tinge. 

Examination of an additional 35 referred 
specimens in the SAMA collection indicates that 
the above counts and measurements are 
representative. In the larger sample, midbody 
scales averaged 30.4, frequency of separated 
nasals was 0.60 and of prefrontals in contact, 
0.66. Maximum SVL was 75 mm (SAMA 
R03618, male, one of the paratypes of C. it. 
orientalis). 

Etymology 

Named for Olympic Dam, the type locality, but 
also in the spirit of the Greek mythological bent 
behind many Ctenotus specific epithets. 

Distribution 

Lake Eyre and Lake Torrens basins of central 
and northern South Australia, extending 
northwards into the southern NT and east and 
south through the northern Flinders Ranges to the 
Olary Plains of eastern South Australia and the 
adjacent west of New South Wales. 

Notes 

Three species of the C. leonhardii group are 
superficially similar to C. olytnpicus and are 
sympatric or parapatric through significant parts 
of its range. Ctenotus orientalis differs in having 
a pale margin to the black vertebral stripe and 
straight-edged black laterodorsal stripes 
completely enclosing a single series of pale dots 
or dashes. Ctenotus septenarius has a rusty orange 
dorsal colour with contrasting yellowish tail, 
multiple dark dorsal lines anteriorly and a well- 
developed midlateral stripe. Ctenotus leonhardii 
lacks laterodorsal pale spots, has a pale-edged 
vertebral stripe, straight-edged, light dorsolateral 
stripe and distinctive cheek and neck pattern of 
white spots on a purplish-brown background. 

Most populations include a range of colour 
pattern variations, but plainer animals are more 
common in the west of the species' range while 
more heavily speckled animals are more common 



TAXONOMY OF CTENOTUS UBER OR1ENTAUS 



185 



17 



16 



CO 

c; 
O 
3- 



I , 1 



t 



O 
CD' 

sr 

Co" 



10 

r- 11 



r 



12 



14 



13 



o 

I 

I 



u 



9 



c 



24 

_25 



CO 

CD 

■a 
cB" 

0} 



3 

CQ 
C" 



21 
23 

I 22 

15 Arrabury 
_ 20 

18 

19 



CD 
O 

3- 
0) 

a. 



FIGURE 5. Phylogenetic relationships of 25 populations of Ctenotus skinks (analysis of Rogers' D using the 
FITCH algorithm from PHYLIP), showing paraphyly of C. olympicus. Ctenotus strauchii was designated as the 
outgroup to root relationships among the remaining species, all members of the C. leonhardii species group. 



186 



M. N. HUTCHINSON & S. C. DONNELLAN 



in the north. In the Flinders Ranges and the stony 
hills of the Olary Spur and Barrier Range, many 
specimens are much darker than elsewhere, with 
dorsal colour dark blackish brown, as in C. 
orientalis. 

The most distinctive populations, included here 
with some reservation, are those from the 
northeastern limits of the species' range in 
northwest New South Wales and southwest 
Queensland. The five specimens examined 
(SAMA R10044, R36877, R36986, AMS 
R32604, R69731) are distinctively marked with 
black paravertebral and laterodorsal black lines or 
series of flecks on the nape and shoulders. Four of 
the five also have almost no trace of a light 
dorsolateral line, having only a zone of pale 
speckling. Henle (1996) also pointed out the 
difficulties of identifying specimens from this 
area, and of the variation within the similar 
southwestern Queensland species, Ctenotus 
astarte. However, his figured specimen is more 
like our unassigned 'Arrabury' specimen (and C. 
astarte) than the five assigned here to C. 
olympicus. 

This species is found on heavy soils, generally 
with a stony component and a ground cover of 
chenopods. On plains, the species digs a burrow 
under a stone or bush. In the north of South 
Australia it occurs on and around gibber rises, 
sheltering in natural holes and spaces under rocks. 
Sometimes the only Ctenotus where it occurs, but 
often found with C. strauchii varius, C. 
leonhardii, C. septenarius and C. saxatilis in 
central and northern South Australia. Sadlier and 
Shea (1989) figure and describe the habitat of this 
species as C. uber orientalis. The photographs 
illustrating C. uber in Swan (1990, p. 96) and 
Ehmann (1993) also depict specimens of C. 
olympicus. 



Discussion 

Our revised taxa are species because they are 
diagnosable, show evidence (fixed allozyme 
differences) that reticulate evolution has ceased 
between them, and maintain their morphological 
distinctiveness in sympatry (Wiley 1981, Frost & 
Hillis 1990). We cannot demonstrate reciprocal 
monophyly of these species, however, so that one 
of the current species concepts, the Phylogenetic 
Species Concept (PSC, de Queiroz & Donoghue 
1988; Echelle 1990), cannot be applied. Failure to 
establish strict monophyly of all species may be 
no more than we should expect if the prevailing 



allopatric and sympatric speciation models are 
true. Our experience of cryptic species in several 
taxa (Hutchinson & Donnellan 1992; Donnellan 
et al. 1993) suggests that it is common for 
differentiation to be achieved by frequency shifts 
in the states of shared characters or fixation of 
polymorphisms (applicable to both allozyme and 
external morphological data) rather than the 
acquisition by each species of evolutionary 
novelties. 

The taxonomy of this complex is still far from 
final resolution. The restricted concept of 
Ctenotus uber adopted here still encompasses 
considerable variation and suggests that detailed 
study may reveal further cryptic species within 
this binomial. In eastern Western Australia, 
genetic study of populations assigned to Ctenotus 
greeri, C. tanamiensis and C. uber (including C. 
u. johnstonei) would help to unravel inter and 
intraspecific variation among these 'spotted-back' 
members of the C. leonhardii species group. 

Three paratypes of C. uber from the vicinity of 
Mungilli Claypan (WAM R26894-95, R26897) 
all have the very long tail of C. uber, but R26897 
is otherwise identical in colour to typical South 
Australian C. olympicus, while the other two are 
more like C. uber but have anomalous dorsal 
patterns, with relatively broad vertebral stripes and 
broad paravertebral zones of ground colour 
margining straight-edged laterodorsal stripes 
containing pale markings that run together to form 
ragged longitudinal pale lines. At present, we 
allocate R26897 to C. olympicus and retain the 
other two in C. uber but further collection in this 
area to examine the range of local variation will 
be necessary to clarify the status of these 
populations. 

There are also several central and eastern-inland 
species, such as Ctenotus aphrodite, C. astarte, C. 
hebetior, C. septenarius and C. serotinus in which 
interpopulation variation is poorly understood and 
which may be closely related to C. orientalis and 
C. uber. One of these, C. septenarius is a more 
widespread and variable species than is indicated 
by the original description (King et al. 1988), and 
was included by Storr in the type series of both C. 
uber and C. u. orientalis. In the type series of C. 
septenarius, the dorsal colour pattern includes 
seven dark lines, a broad vertebral, a faint 
paravertebral and laterodorsal on each side and a 
wider dorsolateral. The two faint lines are the 
result of a single dark laterodorsal line on the nape 
developing a pale centre as it runs posteriorly but 
in many South Australian specimens the 
laterodorsal line does not fade as it runs back, so 



TAXONOMY OF CTENOTUS UBER ORIENTALIS 



187 



that the resulting pattern consists of five bold 
dorsal lines, rather than three bold and four faint 
lines. Whatever the pattern it generally fades 
posteriorly, often reducing to three lines and then 
one (vertebral) on the posterior third of the back. 
A minority of specimens have only a vertebral 
line. Ctenotus aphrodite from southwest 
Queensland appears to be very similar to the 
single-lined pattern variant of C. septenarius, 
while some specimens of C. astarte and C. 
serotinus are similar to C. olympicus and to our 
distinctive Arrabury specimen. Future work 



should aim to sample these populations for 
biochemical or molecular systematic study. 

Acknowledgments 

We thank the various museum curators and collection 
managers who allowed us to borrow specimens for this 
study: A. J. Coventry (NMV), L. A. Smith (WAM), R. 
Sadlier (AMS). We also thank Adrienne Edwards and Jan 
Birrell (SAMA) for, respectively, compiling tables of 
morphometric data and final production of the illustrations. 
The MS was improved by the comments of G. Shea. 



References 



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Appendix 

The following specimens were used in the 

electrophoretic study and scored for morphological data 

(all locations but one in South Australia). 

Ctenotus orientalis. population 1: SAMA R27220, 

Hensley Scrub, 8 km NW of Bordertown; population 2: 

R26069-71, Swan Reach: R26164, R26166, Swan 

Reach Conservation Park; population 3: R26184, White 

Dam Conservation Park; population 4: R 18275-79, 

Reevesby Island; population 5: R24797, Pitcairn 

Station; R24875, Ti Tree Well, Flinders Ranges; 

R24876, 'The Bunkers', Flinders Ranges; population 6: 

R25074, Stoney Creek. 

Ctenotus olympicus. population 7: R 18620, approx. 20 

km S of Port Augusta; population 8: R25877, 

Witchelina Station, near homestead; population 9: 

R28494, R28503, R28517, R28543, 1 15-120 km NE of 

Minnipa; population 10: R20936, Olympic Dam area; 

R20944-45, R20949, 48 km S of Olympic Dam; 

population 11: R30407, Breakaways Reserve, 25 km 

NNW of Coober Pedy; population 12: R35937, 95 km 

E of Maria; population 13: R36360, 1 km NE of 

Alberrie Creek; population 14: R28203, 37 km N of 

Oodnadatta on road to Hamilton homestead. 

Ctenotus sp. population 15: R20839. Arrabury Station, 

Qld. 

Ctenotus septenarius. population 16: R35895-96, 

R35931-32, Finke River valley, Witjira National Park; 

population 17: R28214, Dalhousie ruins. 

Ctenotus leonhardii. population 18: R35878, Finke 

River valley, Witjira National Park; population 19, 

R28244^15, 'Big Mill' area, Witjira National Park; 

population 20: R22246, Kingoonya. 

Ctenotus regtus. population 21: R35860, R35938: 1 km 

S of Hamilton homestead; population 22: R35915, 

Mokari, Witjira National Park; population 23: R35940, 

Finke River valley, Witjira National Park. 

Ctenotus slrauchii varius. population 24: R35887, 26 

km ESE Mt Dare homestead, Witjira National Park; 

R35889-90, Mt Dare homestead metal dump; 

population 25: R34780, South Gap Station. 

Additional specimens which provided scalation and 

mensural data. 

Ctenotus uber. R17335, 24 km SSE of Karonie 

(Paratype); R 17654. 35 km SSE Yalgoo (Holotype); 



R25118. Jiggalong (Paratype); R26894-95, Mungilli 
Claypan (Paratype); R30334, Koordarrie; R33967, 46 km 
S of Karalee; R36112, 18 km SW of Winning Pool; 
R40216, S of Carnarvon Ranges; R40537-38, R40539- 
42, Yinnietharra, Mica Well; R44246, 46 km NNE of 
Beacon; R47708, Weedarra, Gascoyne River; R48323, 
48 km N of Beacon; R48402. 51 km N of Beacon; 
R49945, Wandagee; R54209, Tallering; R57692, Wilroy 
Reserve. 19 km S of Mullewa; R58155, 12 km NE of 
Dalwallinu; R58697, 13 km SE of Diemals; R62303, 5 
km N of Jindabinbin rockhole; R63664, 25 km NNW of 
Winning HS; R64742, Mt Manning Ra.; R65814, 7.5 km 
NE of Comet Vale; R65910, 3 km NE of Mt Linden; 
R65976, 2.5 km [from] Mt Linden; R67017, 1.5 km S of 
Mt Jackson; R67133, 5 km N of Bungalbin Hill; R67983, 
Hell Gates, 37 km 87° from Dandaraga HS; R68889, 2 
km N of Mt Narryer HS; R71822, 16.5 km 80° from 
Toomey Hills; R71824, 15 km 90° from Toomy Hills; 
R72017, 1.5 km W of Mt Jackson; R72201, R76231, 12 
km NNE of Bungalbin Hill; R72584, near Comet Vale; 
R72645, 7.5 km NE of Comet Vale; R72733, 6.75 km 
NE of Comet Vale; R72792, 2.5 km N of Mt Linden; 
R73287. R73308, 7 km 238° from Black Flag; R73222, 
2 km 97° from Yowie rockhole; R73373, 1 km 260° 
from Mt Manning Ra. (SE peak); R74400, Boorabbm; 
R76095. Mt Jackson Hill; R76119, 12 km SSW Mt 
Jackson Hill; R78517, 7 km WSW of Black Flag; 
R7854I, 12 km WSW of Black Flag; R78700, 2 km NW 
of Mt Manning Ranges (SE peak); R78777, 16 km E of 
Toomey Hills; R78796, 15 km E of Toomey Hills: 
R78810, Boodarding Rock; R81301, Koordarrie HS; 
R81965, Chiddarcooping nature reserve; R82623, 15 km 
SSE of Mt Jackson; R84146, 17 km SSW of Muralgarra 
HS; R87655, 13 km SSW of Mt Phillip HS; R87758. 4 
km NNE Mt Phillip HS; R91036, 9 km N of 
Yinnietharra. 

Ctenotus olympicus. South Australia: SAMA R02789, 
R09466-69. Pernatty or South Gap Homestead 
(Paratypes of Ctenotus uber orientalis); R04314, 
Ediacara; R10017 (Paratype of Ctenotus uber 
orientalis); R10027, R10030, Mern Merna (Paratypes 
of Ctenotus uber orientalis); R 12845. near 
Carrapateena Arm, Lake Torrens; R 12846, Wirrappa 
Hills, 29 km SE of Woomera; R12847. Yarra Wurta 
cliff, north end of Lake Torrens; R13156 B, near 
Oulnina HS, Olary Ridge; R13912 8 km from 
Carriewerloo Woolshed on road to Illeroo; R14160 A- 
B, R14917 A-C, Waukaringa; R14932, Mern Merna: 
R15111, Disputed Creek; R15439, 10 km SW of Matin 
Wells Homestead; R 16082, Mt Serle; R 17789. Dutton 
Bluff, 17 km ESE of Bookaloo; R17799, Wooltana 
Station, 4-Mile Creek Bore; R 19026-27, 10 km N of 
New Mulgaria Homestead: R19048, 15 km E of Frome 
Downs Homestead; R20039-40, Pimba: R21518, 
Moolawatana: R26828, 25 km S of Mabel Creek 
Homestead; R28403, 28 km NW of Iron Knob; 
R29072-73; 128 km ENE of Minnipa; R29083, 130.8 
km ENE of Minnipa; R33282, 14 km W of Pimba. 



TAXONOMY OF CTENOTUS UBEK OR1ENTAL1S 



189 



WAM R64576, Pimba. Northern Territory: SAMA 
R 10055. (Paratype of Ctenotus uber orientalis). New 
South Wales: SAMA R10044, Milparinka; WAM 
R92962, 2 km E of Mungo HS. Western Australia: 
WAM R26897, 18 km E of Mungilli Claypan (Paratype 
of Ctenotus uber) 

Ctenotus orientalis. South Australia: SAMA R00023- 
24, Bowhill (Paratype); R03618, Lake Palankarinna 
(Paratype); R05738, Panaramitee Station (Paratype); 
R01507, Pinnaroo (Paratype); R10122, Blue Range 
Creek (Paratype); R11202, 1.6 km NE of Tea Tree 
Gully; R12718, Artimore Station; R12986, Reevesby 
Island; R14569, Marble Range, Eyre Peninsula; 
R15390, Wilpena Pound; R16225, Ninety Mile Desert; 
R18224, 6 km N of Cook; R18488, Reevesby Island; 
R20868, Stony Point; R2I490, N end of Younghusband 
Peninsula; R24797, Pitcairn Stn; R261 18-19, Reevesby 
Island; R28425, 37.5 km NE of Minnipa; R31453, 
Wardang Island; R35384, Reevesby Island. WAM 
R9863, Reevesby Island. New South Wales: AMS 
R92239, 6 km along Cambalong Rd, Bombala 
(Holotype of Minervascincus monaro). Victoria: NMV 
D00825, Ouyen (Holotype). Western Australia: WAM 
R17268, Forrest (Paratype of Ctenotus uber); R17284- 



85, Seemore Downs (Paratype of Ctenotus uber); 
R41592, 92 km NNE Rawlinna; R41593. 39 km S of 
Forrest; R41594, 24 km S of Forrest; R45615, 22 km N 
of Rawlinna; R77772, 32 km NW of Toolinna rockhole; 
R77777, 25 km N of Eyre Homestead; R91322, 3 km S 
of Haig; R91324, R91327, R91761, R91770, 7 km ESE 
Kilidwerinia Granite Rock; R91326, R91328, R92001, 
16 km SSE of Haig; R91595, 18 km S of Haig; R91748, 
13 km SSE of Haig; R9 1753-54, 1 km S of Haig; 
R91766, R91777, 5 km ESE Kilidwerinia Granite Rock; 
R91767, R91784, 15 km ESE Kilidwerinia Granite 
Rock; R92119, 50 km NE of Balladonia Hotel-Motel; 
R94707, Haig; R96723, 67 km N of Eucla. 
Ctenotus septenarius. South Australia: SAM R09735, 
Dalhousie Homestead (Paratype of Ctenotus uber 
orientalis). Western Australia: WAM R20759, Pass of 
the Abencerrages, Rawlinson Range (Paratype of 
Ctenotus uber). 

In addition, all specimens registered as C. uber from 
New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland in the 
NMV, SAMA and WAM collections (up to 1993), plus 
a large series from the AMS were examined and their 
identities revised and used to plot the distribution map 
(Fig. 3). 



U& aj^u>iKJU4£) 



SOUTH 

AUSTRALIAN 

MUSEUM 

VOLUME 32 PART 2 
DECEMBER 1999 
ISSN 0376-2750 



ARTICLES 



121 C. II. S. WATTS & W. F. HUMPHREYS 

Tlirec new genera and live new species of Dytiscidae (Coleoptei 
from underground waters in Australia. 



13 D. M. OPRESKO 



New Species of Anlipalhes and Parantipathes (Cnidaria: Antho/oa: 



from Coastal \\ aters ot 



55 C. M. KEMPER & C. R. SAMSON 

Southern right whale remains from 19th century 
South Australia. 



M. N. HUTCHINSON & S. C. DONNELLAN 

Genetic variation and taxonomy of the lizards assigned to Ctenotus uk 

(Squarnata: Scincidae) with description of a new species.